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Atoka will host Debs, Angels World Series starting July 25

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Kelsey Lowe of the Atoka Ponytails beats the tag of a Crockett County Player and steals second base during the Dixie Girls Softball State Tournament last Friday in Brownsville. Atoka lost the game 13-2 and was eliminated from the tournament the following day. The Debs and Angels age groups will take part in the World Series next week in Atoka. Photo by Jeff Ireland

There will be a ton of softball players, coaches and fans in and around South Tipton County next week. 

For the first time in the town's history, Atoka will host the Dixie Girls Softball World Series. 

"It's a huge deal," said Brian Peel, Atoka's parks and recreation director. "It definitely puts us in the spotlight."

Twelve teams in two different ages groups - Debs (15-18) and Angels X-Play (9-10) - will compete in two separate tournaments at Nancy Lane Memorial Park July 26-30. 

A dinner will be held at Brighton High School on July 25 for players, coaches and their families and the opening ceremonies will follow around 7:30 p.m.  

Peel said the general public is invited to attend the opening ceremonies at the park, which will be free. 

The players will caravan into the park from Adkison Park, which is across the street from Nancy Lane, and have their names called. Live music will follow and a fireworks display at around 9:15 p.m. will end the night. 

"We've done fireworks before when we hosted a district tournament," Peel said, "and we had a big turnout from the general public."

The games begin July 26 at 9 a.m. and will continue until the title games on July 30. 

Atoka will field a team in each division. Another team from Tennessee will compete as well as squads from Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Virginia, Oklahoma and Texas. 

Peel said Comfort Inn and Suites in Atoka is just about all booked up during the tournament, as are some hotels in Millington.

"This is a big benefit to our community as far as sales tax goes and things like that," Peel said. 

Admission to games is $8 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. Children's tournament passes are $20 and adult passes are $30. 

The Town of Atoka has spent plenty of money to host the event. Peel said Atoka will share the money generated from concessions and tickets. 

"There's a lot of financial responsibility that goes along with hosting a world series," Peel said. "We'll end up breaking even, or close to it. There's a lot of prestige that goes along with hosting an event like this."

Thirty to 40 people are expected to travel with each of the 22 out-of-town teams, meaning nearly 1,000 people are expected to be in town over six days. 

"For a lot of people, this is their vacation," Peel said. "We want to show them a good time and be a good host." 


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