Community fueling Challenger Tourney
by John Stegeman Sports Editor
PDT Sports Editor
WHEELERSBURG — The start of the Challenger League tournaments Saturday at Gene Bennett Little League Fields in Wheelersburg offered another opportunity for reflection on just how supportive the community is toward youth sports.
After the Wheelersburg baseball team won the 2012 state championship, coach Michael Estep praised the area for its support and particularly the support of Wheelersburg Little League. Once again, Estep finds himself heaping praise upon the Wheelersburg community and Little League.
“I think it is tremendous and it doesn’t surprise me at all that the community has gotten behind this from the start,” Estep said.
The Challenger League, which is a division of Little League, was created to give children with mental and physical challenges opportunities play softball and baseball. The state tournaments rotate locations each year and multiple fundraising efforts throughout the Portsmouth area made this weekend’s festivities a reality.
“The entire county has put in an effort and so much of the work has been done by volunteers, donations and with hours of planning,” Estep said.
Some of the volunteers working at the tournaments are Wheelersburg students.
“We have kids working as volunteers there right now,” Estep said. “Some baseball players and softball player and a lot of students are working the tournament. It’s one of those things where they will get just as much out of it as the participants in the tournament will.”
Estep said he would be attending the tournaments today.
“I think this says a great deal about our community,” he said. “The community is very supportive of kids and obviously that will help them enjoy this experience.”
Bob Strickley may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 203, or email@example.com.
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