Governor’s Cup a go for this weekend

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 6, 2009

If this weekend’s weather forecast holds, and temperatures climb into the mid-90s with lots of sunshine like it’s supposed to, Jeff Collins might be the happiest person in town.

The Governor’s Cup begins its second weekend on Friday night with lots of baseball, clear skies, and lots of sighs of relief in store. Last weekend’s action was plagued by rain on Saturday, which forced the cancellation of 21 games including the entire championship round.

It was one of several tournaments in Vicksburg that have been delayed or postponed this summer. It was the first time in 15 years in Vicksburg, however, that the final day of a Governor’s Cup was washed out.

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“That was at least our third tournament to have to deal with rain issues. But the teams left pretty much OK with the decision,” said Collins, the Governor’s Cup tournament director. “We’ve probably learned plusses and minuses through every tournament we’ve done. If we can avoid rain issues everything will be fine.”

Although this is the second weekend of the tournament, it won’t be the last. Some of the teams from the first weekend will return to Halls Ferry Park to play the rained-out championship round on Aug. 15. So far, 12 of the 14 teams in the 9-year-olds’ division and more than half of the 14-year-olds’ field have indicated they will come back for the one-day event.

Teams that can’t make it back will get a partial refund of their $300 entry fee, Collins said. Most teams played two of the guaranteed three games before the rainout.

“It seems like it’s going to happen,” Collins said. “We thought if we could get 60 percent participation it would be worth it to everybody. We’ve had a fairly good response. Two age groups are definitely going to make it.”

Before that, however, there’s a full weekend to get through beginning on Friday. A total of 42 teams in the 7-, 10-, 12-, 13- and 16-year-olds’ age groups will descend on the park and Bazinsky Field.

The 12-year-olds’ bracket is the biggest, with 14 teams, but the 16-year-olds’ might be the most surprising. Seven teams have registered for the tournament at Bazinsky Field, an unusually high number. Typically, older age groups are harder to fill. Most tournament teams disband after age 12 or 13 as their players move on to high school.

Once in high school, players have a short summer league season in June and then are prohibited by Mississippi High School Activities Association rules from playing most organized baseball through July. Any teams that play in events like the Governor’s Cup resemble the Vicksburg Misfits, a squad that includes players from all four Warren County high schools.

The 13-year-olds’ bracket, with six teams, is also a bit larger than normal.

“The 16s surprised me too. It’s harder to get that age of kids together,” Collins said.


Contact Ernest Bowker at