“Build it and they will come” America’s favorite summer past time is underway in Fayetteville

FAYETTEVILLE – Monday evening, it was the odor of popcorn wafting through the air, and parents in tow with their boys and girls ready to play softball.

The ball field was a “Field of Dreams” for the locals and now this place is an area for youth at the Fayetteville Community Lions Club Park.

America’s summer past time is in full swing and underway.

Sam Fowler gets his ball shirt, ready to play ball for this summer season.

This year, 21 teams will take the field at the park located on State Road 158 between Bedford and Fayetteville on the west side of Lawrence County.

The teams have children from ages 3 – 15 years old. They are able to take part in coed softball and there is T- Ball for ages 3 to 5, Coach pitch for 6-8 years olds, and Machine pitch for those who are 9-11 years old.

Kaleb Canada lines the bases Monday evening at Fayetteville Lions Park

Many volunteers are needed to help with the program, including coaches, umpires, scorekeepers, and volunteers to man the concession stands to feed the hungry crowds. It takes more than 50 to 60 volunteers to run the summer program.

Neysa Mitchell (left) and Lynn Burch prepare popcorn for the hungry crowds.

In its seventh season, the program has been a special way to keep children healthy by offering exercise and offers families an activity.

Workers made their final touches preparing the fields for play, lining the bases with chalk, and getting the concession stands open to fill those with hunger pains.

The first night is always fun to watch as many take to the field for the very first time. Learning how to catch balls, run the bases, and play their positions on the field.

By the end of the year, it will be remarkable how these children will grow, and learn to love the sport of baseball.

Bill Barnes, President of Fayetteville Lions Club throws the first pitch Monday evening at the Fayetteville Lions Club park

Bill Barnes, President of the Fayetteville Lions Club threw the first pitch to Kallie McIntyre, and then it was “Play Ball” for the rest.

People gather to watch the games.

The park was an old field that was transformed into a place to be used throughout the summer. Officials made upgrades to the playground equipment, built a shelter house, and have a barn to hold special events.

The group is now in search of a used four-wheeler to help tend to the fields.