The Dixie Youth Majors State Tournament will begin Saturday at Arrowhead Park , with twelve teams of 11 and 12 year olds, from all over the state, converging on Cheraw. This event with be a double-elimination affair, with the winner advancing to the Dixie Youth World Series in Carthage, North Carolina in mid-August.
Eleven of the teams had to win their District Tournaments to get to Cheraw, while the host team of local all-stars have been practicing for over a month. The last time Cheraw played host to the Dixie Youth State Tournament was in 2003 and it was Dillon that edged Hartsville National to win that title. Jordan Lyles, a Hartsville native, and now a starter for the Houston Astros was a member of that runner-up squad back in 2003.
The week-long slate of activities will get started with a coaches’ meeting at the Cheraw Community Center at 11 a.m. on Saturday, with the Opening Ceremonies planned for 2:30 p.m. on B.C. Moore’s Field. All twelve teams will be introduced, with the first pitch, invocation, and the National Anthem among the other events taking place during the Opening Ceremonies.
The teams will then get down to playing, with two games scheduled at 3:30, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. The 3:30 p.m. tilts will feature Walhalla vs Union National on the Carolina Canners Field, while Turbeville will meet McLeod Park of Florence on the B.C. Moore’s Field.
The 5:30 p.m. games will have Laurens and Aynor squaring off on the Carolina Canners Field, while Midland Valley will meet Colleton County on the B.C. Moore’s Field.
The final games of the day will start around 7:30 p.m. and they will match up Hartsville Northern against Maple Park on the Carolina Canners Field, while the host Cheraw squad will meet Hanahan on the B.C. Moore’s Field.
The Cheraw Recreation and Leisure Services Department will then have a banquet for all the players and coaches on Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m, with David Bennett, Cheraw native and Coastal Carolina head football coach, the keynote speaker.
The 12 teams will then return to Arrowhead Park for six more games on Sunday, with three teams being eliminated from further play. There will be two elimination games at 3:30 p.m. and another one at 5:30 p.m., while the three winner’s bracket games will begin at 5:30 p.m. and conclude with two more contests at 7:30 p.m.
There will be four more games on Monday night - two tilts at 5:30 and two more at 7:30; three contests on Tuesday night - single games at 5:30, 6:30, and 7:30; and the semifinals will be held on Wednesday night at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. The State Championship game will then be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday morning, with the if-needed contest slated for 4 p.m.
Admission will be charged at the Arrowhead Park gate and that price will be $5 a day for adults and $4 a day for students. Children under the age of six will be admitted free. Souvenir programs will be sold for $3 and State Tournament t-shirts will be available for $10.
This is a great chance to see the future of high school and college baseball in South Carolina on display in the Pee Dee area, so everyone is encouraged to stop by Arrowhead Park sometime next week to check out the action.
Anyone wanting to use the walking trail at Arrowhead Park during the tournament games must park outside the gate and show local identification, according to the recreation department.