Governor’s Cup rained out for the second time

Published 11:58 pm Saturday, August 9, 2014


Home plate at one of the Halls Ferry Park fields is covered by water Saturday afternoon. The second weekend of the 2014 Governor’s Cup was rained out for the second time, and will not be rescheduled.

Home plate at one of the Halls Ferry Park fields is covered by water Saturday afternoon. The second weekend of the 2014 Governor’s Cup was rained out for the second time, and will not be rescheduled.

One of the teams in the Governor’s Cup was named the Mississippi Storms. It never got a chance to take home a trophy, though, thanks to the Mississippi Rain.

For the second weekend in a row, the Governor’s Cup was rained out. Steady rain followed by heavy thunderstorms that rolled through early Saturday afternoon, combined with a similar forecast for today and logistical issues for a number of teams, led organizers to cancel the rest of the games in the odd-numbered age groups.

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The tournament will not be rescheduled this time.

“It’s extremely disappointing. Words can’t describe it,” Vicksburg Warren Athletic Association president Josh Fairley said. “We’re trying to provide a great experience for all the youth in the community, and for all the teams that came to Vicksburg. It’s a loss for everybody there. We thank everybody that provided support for the event. We’re thankful for all the support given to us and all the teams that came back.”

The first weekend of the Governor’s Cup, which featured teams in even-numbered age groups, went off without a hitch July 25-27. The second weekend with odd-numbered age groups seemed doomed from the start, however.

The first try was rained out without a game being played, the first time that had happened in the tournament’s 20-year history in Vicksburg. It was hastily rescheduled for this weekend and started off well. Twenty-one of the 31 teams who registered to play last week returned for the do-over. The Vicksburg Braves and Madison Dodgers opened the festivities with a 13-year-olds’ game Friday night and three games in the 9- and 11-year-olds’ age groups were completed Saturday morning.

Rain soon moved back in, though, and turned the Halls Ferry Park fields into swamps. More rain was in the forecast for Saturday and today, and teams were facing mid-afternoon deadlines to cancel hotel reservations, tournament director Tim Shelton said. All of those factors led to the tough decision to call off the tournament.

“Bazinsky was unplayable. If we’d have given it our best effort and gotten no more rain, we might have gotten back on the field by 7,” Shelton said. “You don’t want to get in a situation where you fight it and fight it and fight it, and it’s all for nothing. I felt like our chances weren’t very good that we could get a full tournament in.”

The decision not to reschedule was just as tough, and based mostly on logistics, Fairley said. The tournament baseball schedule in central Mississippi shifts from Vicksburg to a series of tournaments in Brandon, Flowood and Pearl for the next two months.

Teams that didn’t play any games this weekend will be given a full refund of their $300 entry fee, while those that played one or two games will get a pro-rated amount back. Fans were to get similar refunds.

Fairley said the financial hit to the VWAA, which uses the Governor’s Cup as its biggest fundraiser, would be big, but he believed the organization could absorb the hit. In addition to other fundraisers throughout the year, Fairley said the VWAA plans to host several new tournaments in 2015 to add to its coffers.

“We probably have taken a loss for this year, but we’ll be fine. We’ll be reaching out for support in the Vicksburg business community and doing what we can to raise money,” Fairley said.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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