Story and photos by BEN GRAFTON
On Saturday, March 5, Freeport Youth Sports got off to a running start for the baseball season with a parade with floats carrying each team from Freeport Middle School to the Freeport Regional Sports Complex, which looked to be in excellent condition and where opening day ceremonies were held.
According to opening day director Latilda Henninger, this year’s schedule features T-Ball; Machine Pitch; Minors softball and baseball; Majors softball and baseball teams; and a Dixie Youth baseball team. Both boys and girls play on the T-Ball and Machine Pitch teams. Softball features all girl teams and the Minors and Majors baseball teams are all boys. There are 165 participants signed up for the various teams, a record number for any season so far. The T-Ball teams will play only on Friday nights and Saturdays. The Dixie Youth team, whose season starts later, will play District 2 teams from Baker, Paxton, Ponce de Leon and South Walton.
The opening day ceremony featured recognition of Walton County Commissioners Sara Comander and Cecilia Jones; Tax Collector Rhonda Skipper; Freeport Mayor Mickey Marse; Freeport Council members Elizabeth Brannon, Ray Jackson and Harold Taunton; Freeport Youth Sports President Greg Free and Dixie Youth District 2 Director Christa Mitchell.
The ceremonial first pitch was delivered into the strike zone by Mayor Marse to his great-grandson Hagen.