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Leadership Natchez hosts annual kickball tournament

Daniel Jenkins misses the kickball while playing at the Leadership Natchez Kickball Tournament Saturday. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Daniel Jenkins misses the kickball while playing at the Leadership Natchez Kickball Tournament Saturday. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Hard-hitting competitors gathered at Duncan Park Saturday to aid community charities with a little kick.

Leadership Natchez hosted its annual kickball tournament as a fundraiser for local charities Saturday — some of which include Natchez-Adams County Habitat for Humanity, Parkway Baptist Church Food Pantry and the Wilson Brown Memorial Fund.

The tournament featured teams with 10-12 players as each entity fought not only for bragging rights, but also for the better good of the community by raising more than $5,000 from participating players and local sponsors.

“We expect the community to come together to have a good time and help other charities,” said Leadership Natchez President Jacob Cowart. “People from different age groups get to come out here and play a child’s game of kick ball for a good cause.”

Leadership Natchez member Kolby Godfrey said the competitive nature in kickball participants surfaces toward the end of the game.

“It’s fun the first three games,” Godfrey said. “But once some teams start getting knocked out because it’s a double elimination game, it gets more serious. But everyone is friends at the end of the day.”

Leadership Natchez member Lindsey Shelton took the opportunity to referee during the tournament, which she said was the best part.

“It really gives everyone so much to do,” Shelton said. “But when you mix something like playing kickball and doing it for a good cause — I think everyone just has a good time.”

Ultimately, hosting the kickball tournament helped Leadership Natchez achieve its goal.

Home Bank team member Marcus Sullivan and teammate Carol Dillon bobble a catch against the United Mississippi Bank team. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

Home Bank team member Marcus Sullivan and teammate Carol Dillon bobble a catch against the United Mississippi Bank team. (Sam Gause / The Natchez Democrat)

“We accomplish giving back to Natchez, bringing the community together for fun and give people the sense that Natchez is a fun, great community to live in,” Cowart said.

The tournament will also allow Leadership Natchez to award a $1,000 scholarship to a local high school senior who displays leadership and community involvement.

Leadership Natchez is a yearlong program operated under the umbrella of the Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce, which focuses on developing and retaining leadership amongst professionals in the community.