The baseball season has ended for most recreational leagues across the state. For months children and their families have gathered in stands with peanuts and pickles to cheer on their team and participate in one of the greatest American past-times.
Nestled up in the hills of northeast Mississippi is an unincorporated community; Mooreville, home of the Troopers. Mooreville High School is known for a solid and competitive baseball program, having brought home nine state championship titles.
Across the street is the Mooreville Sportsplex, where local students play rec league t-ball and baseball from ages 3-12. Four local men created the “Plex” circa 2009-2010. The idea was to use the funds raised by registration fees and concessions to support the high school softball team and the upkeep and maintenance of the plex facility.
While the land is owned by Mooreville Elementary School and Lee County Schools, the principal at the time allowed these men to take out a loan to build the concession stand and put up the ball fields. This loan was paid in full this season (2022).
Over the years, the sportsplex has seen fewer players signing up to play for their local league. Some families chose to play travel ball, while others wanted to play for a larger league. While this is common, the Mooreville community rallied together to try and get some of their little Troopers to return to home field.
This year, a board of directors made up of parents and local business owners rolled up their sleeves and got to work, with the primary goal of establishing and re-building relationships within the community.
“We were transparent in all that we did, including posting meeting schedules, monies raised, and how they were spent,” April Cardenas, a board member, said.
The board of directors, several local businesses, and parents kicked off the season with a “Bring It Together Bash.” The fields were full of families, vendors, concessions, bounce houses, and baseball games all day long!
“I’ve noticed families spending more time at the Plex, not just playing ball but using the jungle gyms and tennis courts. I’ve also seen extended families come to see their little ones playing and cheer them on!”
Two hundred and fifty kids signed up to play at the Mooreville Sportsplex this year, an increase from the previous season. Additionally, the Sportsplex Director, Sean McMickin, was presented with the 2022 Tenn-Tom Dizzy Dean Director of the Year award.
April Cardenas shared, “For me, I chose Mooreville Plex for my daughter to play t-ball and be on the board because I wanted to be part of the solution and help build up and back the recreational sports program in the Mooreville community. I want my daughter to make friends, learn socialization skills, and have fun playing outside, away from the tablet and tv.”
The Mooreville community, along with its board of directors, are proof that hard work–works. Reminding us of a famous quote from an iconic baseball film, “If you build it (they) will come.” ~Field of Dreams