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Baseball tournaments gave Beaufort County opportunity to show some of its best qualities

For the past week and a half, Beaufort County was the home of the Tar Heel League’s District Tournaments for the 12U, 10U, 8U machine pitch and 8U coach pitch divisions. 37 teams from District Seven, including squads from Washington, Chocowinity, Bath and Belhaven, descended upon the Chocowinity Recreation Complex and the Susiegray McConnell Sports Complex to duke it out, with the top two teams from each division earning a spot in the Tar Heel League State Tournament in Hickory at the end of July.

The tournaments, hosted without a hitch by the Chocowinity Recreation Department and the Washington Youth Baseball League and filled with pulse-pounding action, left Beaufort County much to be proud of as it displayed some of its best qualities to visitors.

The obvious points of pride are the boys who made up the All-Star teams representing Washington, Chocowinity, Bath and Belhaven. They all showcased their skills, competed with honor and good sportsmanship, and gave it their all, even when staring defeat in the face.

This never-say-die attitude was on perfect display Saturday morning, when the Washington 8U machine pitch rallied from both a six-run deficit and a two-run deficit against Pitt County to win 10-9 and clinch a spot in Hickory. That was just one of several instances of honorable stubbornness where teams refused to go gently into that good night.

Along with the display the boys of Beaufort County put on in the field, what happened off the field deserves merit too. The good sportsmanship displayed by those swinging bats and hurling fastballs was reflected by those watching in the stands.

As is the case with any sporting event, there were questionable calls made by umpires throughout the dozens of games played. Yet there were no ugly incidents of anyone displaying their displeasure with the officials’ decisions. No yelling at the umpires, no obscenities and, thankfully, no fisticuffs. It seems like common sense for no one to engage in such acts at a youth sporting event, but anyone can turn into an enraged mama bear or papa bear when they feel their child has been wronged.

There was also a real sense of camaraderie and community in the bleachers among those watching their young ones play. While I observed from the stands I could hear Washington parents asking how Bath, Chocowinity, Belhaven or even Jamesville was doing in a game going on at the same time on another field, and vice versa as well. All in attendance seemed to be very welcoming and rooting for everyone to do well, regardless of what town or county they were representing.

In short, these baseball tournaments gave Beaufort County the chance to showcase its best qualities to visitors from as far as Dare County. There are some quality ball players found on the banks of the Pamlico. But most importantly, there are many high-quality people as well.