- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Rockwood’s demographic will soon have a profound, although temporary, shift in late July.
The town will soon be bustling with 7- and 8-year-olds and their families from Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.
Rockwood will be hosting the 2013 Dixie Youth AA baseball world series.
“It is a huge deal for Rockwood,” said Rockwood Park and Recreation Director Jody Mioduski. “I need a lot of help; I need a lot of donations to pull this thing off.”
He said it will be worth it.
“It is big for the county as far as the economic impact,” Mioduski said.
Not only is Rockwood playing host, but the city league team will be part of the 16 teams competing in the double-elimination tournament.
Mioduski is in the midst of raising funds and getting volunteers for the weekend event, which will begin with opening ceremonies planned at Rockwood High School on Friday, July 26, at 8 p.m.
Mioduski said any team that travels more than 80 miles to compete in the tournament is to get $200 per day of actual play. The tournament location has to also provide one meal and providebirthday cakes for any child who has a birthday during the tournament.
“I am responsible for getting the donations into the city of Rockwood. I would be OK if I could get to $10,000,” Mioduski said. So far, he’s lined up about $3,000 in donations.
“It brings a lot of money to the county. A lot of people will be coming into Roane County for this event. It brings a lot of money in hotels and restaurants,” Mioduski said.
Roane County Road Department’s Tony Brown, who also is Dixie Youth’s national director, said he expects the teams, four coaches, parents and other relatives to fill up hotels.
“We’ll need 180 hotel rooms for the first three days of the tournament,” Brown said. Brown said he’s already talked to Harriman hotel operators about the event.
The economic boon to the county is why Mioduski hopes to get donations from agencies like The Roane Alliance and the cities of Harriman and Kingston, both communities of which have the hotels these teams and their families will likely stay in.
“All the family members come to watch the kids play,” Mioduski said.
“They bring grandmas and pappaws. This is the age group if they catch a ball, it is exciting. If they miss one, it is exciting. If they get a hit, it is exciting. It is pretty competitive,” Brown said.
Brown said local restaurants and gas stations also will get business.
It’s not the first time Dixie Youth has had ball tournaments in Roane County. Two years ago, a state tournament for ages 5-8 was held in Rockwood with 32 teams.
“That is the biggest tournament we ever had at Rockwood,” Brown said.
Brown said this is the last year for this sort of regional world series tournament for the 7-8 age group.
Instead, the best team in that age division from each of the 11 states Dixie Youth is in will compete in a true world series-style tournament like the older age groups compete in.
Brown said that out of the last four years of the 7- to 8-year-old regional tournament, Kingston has sent a team three times to represent the state.