Joining forces: Natchez Dixie Youth, YMCA agree on plan to lead youth baseball

Published 11:32 pm Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Last November, Natchez YMCA Director Alice Agner learned she and the city’s recreation committee would be here to stay. Now she wants people to know that Natchez Dixie Youth Baseball isn’t going anywhere, either.

Following a term agreement with the Natchez Board of Aldermen and Adams County Board of Supervisors, Agner was granted the authority to lead a majority of recreation in the city.

While the agreement left many wondering what was going to happen with the preexisting youth sports organizations — including Dixie Youth — both will be up and running this spring.

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“Our goal was never to make any organization go away,” Agner said. “It was not my desire to take away something that has been working in our area for many years. All that matters to me is what is best for the kids.”

Natchez Dixie Youth has made a few changes to this year’s setup, but it has allowed for both entities the opportunity to lead separate programs. Following the guidelines of other leagues in Mississippi, Natchez Dixie Youth will foster coach pitch teams for ages 5 and 6, doing away with the T-ball format. Natchez YMCA will now lead a T-ball program for ages 3 to 5.

Dixie Youth will continue its coach pitch for ages 7 and 8, moving on to kid pitch for ages 9 and 10, as well as 11 and 12.

“We are trying to get people to understand that no one was trying to take over,” Dixie Youth President Angie Hollowell said. “I was told that we were the only league still doing T-ball, so I think this is a good agreement and it will work out.”

As the city owns the baseball fields at Duncan Park, Dixie Youth will continue its terms to maintain upkeep in exchange for usage of the fields. Direction of the fields will be under the recreation commission. Facilities and equipment will be available for both organizations.

While Hollowell said any change will take some adjusting, she isn’t worried about any hiccups.

“I’m very excited because we should have a really, really smooth year,” she said. “I’m thinking everyone will benefit from this. The T-Ball is great because it introduces them to baseball, and we will continue to run under Dixie Youth regulations.”

Hollowell added after being elected as president this past December, she is working to reintroduce old traditions to the league such as opening and closing ceremonies.

Registration for both leagues is now open at Sports Center. The cost is $85 per child for each league. Registration closes for Dixie Youth on March 3 and for YMCA T-ball on March 5.

Dixie Youth is also looking for coaches. Anyone interested is asked to attend an informational meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 28 at Carroll Jones Field at Duncan Park.

For more information about YMCA, Agner can be contacted at 601-326-0558 or