Dailey hopes softball tourney will become annual event

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 29, 2002

The Holland Community Center softball tournament last Sunday was the first of its kind. But if center president James Dailey’s hopes come to fruition, it was the first of many, many more.

&uot;This will become an annual event,&uot; said Dailey, wiping sweat from his brow as the sun beat down. &uot;I wanted to do this event, and the followers at the community center thought it was a great idea. We’ve done so much for the community, and we wanted to help the children and the elderly before summer got out.&uot;

At press time, the event had raised over $500. &uot;We hope to hold a big cookout for the elderly, and we’d like to buy some school supplies for the kids,&uot; he said.

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The event’s spectators wouldn’t have to worry about dishonesty from the umpires; center treasurer Bobby Will-iams was behind the plate.

&uot;I just walked through the door, and they told me, ‘Go ump!’&uot; said Williams, who split officiating duties with former city councilman Enoch Copeland.

&uot;I’m having a ball out there; I just wish I had instant replay!&uot;

Many of the players were anxious to show off their skills on the diamond. Michael Watson, an instructor at Booker T. Washington Elementary School, threw out a runner from centerfield to save the Buckhorn Pirates’ victory in the tournament’s first game.

&uot;Softball gives us all something to do to be outside,&uot; said Watson. &uot;We just want to be a force in the Suffolk Men’s Softball Lea-gue.&uot; The league, organized by the Department of Parks and Recreation, begins play in mid-August.

Construction worker Fred Yulee has been involved with the community center, &uot;for about all of my 27 years!

&uot;I was happy when I found out about the tournament,&uot; said Yulee.

&uot;I knew that my friends and I probably wouldn’t be doing anything else on Sunday. I got players from Jericho, Saratoga, Hollywood, Holland, everywh-ere.&uot;

The heat wasn’t too big of a nuisance, he laughed. &uot;It was bothering us at first, but we’re okay now.&uot;

Near the concession stand, center vice president and trustee Craig Stokes Sr. grilled hamburgers. &uot;When I was younger, I wasn’t really into this,&uot; said Stokes, indicating his culinary work.

&uot;I just came out here and played sometimes. But I started thinking about ways to do more for this event, and I came up with this. It’s great to see so many people out here playing for the community. That’s what it’s all about: fun!&uot;