Dicus tournament expands
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
The familiarity is that the tournament remains popular in the region. A total of 33 teams, including six playing girls' softball, will be playing in the fundraising event. That's a slight increase from the 27 teams that signed up last year.
The Little League division begins play on Friday at Optimist Park, with the rest of the tournament hitting full speed Saturday and Sunday. A variety of divisions, which include 8-under coach-pitch, 10-under, 12-under, 14-under, 16-under and 18-under will play at Watauga High School, both fields at Optimist Park, the two fields at Industrial Park and Smith Stadium at Appalachian State.
Tournament director Marty Lambert knows that a three-day tournament is a difficult thing to host. It's even more difficult when inclement weather messes up the schedule of seven different tournaments, such as it did last year.
“We're feeling pretty good if we can get some decent weather,” Lambert said.
There is one change in effect on Saturday. The field at Watauga High School won't be available because of a classic car show scheduled that day.
Games that would have been played at the high school have been moved to Ashe County. Lambert credited Ashe County athletic director Marc Payne for allowing the tournament to be played on the Ashe field.
“Marc Payne stepped up and allowed us to use their field,” Lambert said. “It may be for Sunday, but we'll likely come back (to Watauga) on Sunday.”
The proceeds for the tournament primary go toward the construction of an indoor batting facility for the Watauga High baseball and softball teams. Last year, the tournament raised $7,000 for the project.
This year, Randall Miller Trucking of Boone is the sponsor of the tournament. The tournament is a non-profit event.
“This year, we've committed some of the money to the Will Dicus Training Facility for girls' softball and boys' baseball,” Lambert said. “We may allocate some funds to other charitable causes.”