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Spring break baseball tournament a good idea

Among the many things that have been talked about for years here in Vicksburg, but have never come to fruition, is a Red Carpet Bowl baseball tournament involving all four Warren County high schools.

It’s a concept that has been pitched and discussed about as often as a new sports complex, and dismissed just as often.

There are Red Carpet Bowl events for football and basketball. There are also a lot of practical reasons why a baseball tournament has never developed that are too numerous and complex to go into here.
Next week, however, we’ll get the next best thing.

The coaches at Vicksburg High, Porters Chapel Academy and St. Aloysius — Derrick DeWald, Wade Patrick and Sid Naron, respectively — have gotten together to organize a three-day tournament at Bazinsky Field during spring break.

The tournament begins Monday at 10 a.m., and will feature a total of eight teams and 11 games. Porters Chapel plays Vicksburg at 10 a.m. Tuesday, and Vicksburg plays St. Al in the final game of the tournament at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

The tournament was the brainchild of DeWald. Now entering his third season as Vicksburg’s coach, he had grown weary of searching for a place to play a few games during spring break. Ridgeland had hosted one for several years, but that ended after the 2015 season.

So, he figured, why not just host one here in Vicksburg?

A few phone calls were made to Patrick and Naron, who didn’t need much convincing to get on board, and all of a sudden a new tournament was born. The real question is, what took so long?

Other than a small tournament Porters Chapel hosted for a few years in the late 2000s, I can’t recall any of our teams hosting anything on this scale during spring break. Our teams have gone to the Coast — that’s Warren Central’s destination next week — as well as Ridgeland, McComb, Florida and Alabama.

Vicksburg, meanwhile, is a central location, and its high school teams can offer good competition. Bazinsky Field is a great facility to host, and if the tournament were to grow Porters Chapel could play some games at its field.

Kudos to DeWald for hatching this idea, and Patrick and Naron for jumping on board. We might never get an actual Red Carpet Bowl baseball tournament, but maybe we don’t need one.
Now let’s play ball!

Ernest Bowker is a sports writer for The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at ernest.bowker@vicksburgpost.com

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 sports reporters in the paper's 137-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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