More problems from Dennis

Published 12:22 pm Wednesday, July 20, 2005

By By Tim Cottrell
Hurricane Dennis left few areas of life in the Atmore area untouched as it ripped through the area last week, and one of those most affected has been sporting events.
One of the hardest hit areas during the storm was Jack Springs Road around the Poarch Creek Indian Reservation, and the damage there has caused the postponement or rescheduling of several events.
Mitchell Hughes, Activities Director for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, said the storm damage has caused some rescheduling for the Poarch Co-Ed Volleyball League, which was planning to have a tournament to crown the champion of the league this weekend.
"We may do it on Tuesdays and Thursdays," Hughes said. "The people have indicated they'd rather do it that way. It was going to be on the weekend, but after the storm a lot of people will be cleaning their yards on the weekends for a while."
Hughes also said the rescheduling of volleyball might delay the Co-Ed Softball League the Wellness &Activities Department was planning to start.
"We don't have enough teams yet," Hughes said. "We're looking for two or three more teams. We want to play them on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well. We may have to push that back a couple of weeks because of the storm.. We just don't know right now. Old Dennis messed us all up."
Most significantly, however, the Native American Youth Organization (NAYO) Baseball Tournament, which was scheduled to take place at the Poarch Creek Indian Reservation July 29-30 will now be moved to the Choctaw Reservation in Philadelphia, Miss.
"We will still have it, but it won't be here," Hughes said. "The storm took out portions of the left field fence on the softball field and on the other softball field it took out the right field fence. It'd just be hard to have someone out here to fix them before that weekend. There will be a tournament but it won't be in Poarch."
"It has been moved to the Choctaw Reservation in Philadelphia, Miss.," said Rodney Exum, Wellness &Activities Director for the Poarch Creek Indians, Tuesday afternoon. "It was confirmed this weekend. Because of the storm on both softball fields we had trees on the fences. It turned our lights around. On the baseball field, we had it set up for them to put up lights to light the field, but unfortunately the week they were scheduled to do it was the week the hurricane hit. So Alabama Power was busy with other things that week."
Despite the difficulty, Poarch will still send a strong contingency to the NAYO tournament.
"We're sending two 9-12-year-old girls teams, two 9-12- boys teams, one 13-17- girls team, and two 13-17- boys teams," Hughes said. "So we're still sending seven teams to the tournament."
Exum said that while he was disappointed the tribe would not be able to host the tournament, he felt the tournament might be better now that the Choctaw Indians were hosting.
"It's not really a money-making event," Exum said. "We just do it to get the kids together. It's really going to help make it better. The Choctaw was going to send 15 teams here, so now that it's there they'll be able to host more teams, so it's going to be a bigger tournament."
Exum also wanted to thank the Poarch Band of Creek Indians for stepping up to help the teams get to Mississippi.
"We'd like to thank PCI Gaming and the CIE Board," Exum said. "Since all this came up they're helping us financially with making the trip."

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