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Native Americans step up to plate

By By Chandler Myers
Native Americans from around the country have made their way to Atmore and the Tribal grounds of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians to participate in the annual NASA softball tournament at Poarch’s new baseball and softball fields.
The NASA tournament has been held for about 25 years and is featuring a total of 31 teams with 18 men’s teams and 13 women’s teams.
The teams locations vary with participants coming from Mississippi, Miami, New York and west of New Orleans.
Poarch has a total of four teams in the tournament with three men’s teams and one women’s team representing the host tribe.
Tim Ramer, director of guest services for PCI Gaming, is a player-coach for one of the Poarch teams, and said in an interview Wednesday that the tournament alway has a large gathering and plays all day.
With the tournament changing venues every year, Poarch usually gets to host it every four years.
Ramer said the Tribe is excited about hosting the tournament this year.
Historically, Poarch has had a lot of success and tradition in the tournament with one team consistently winning the championship.
Ramer said last year two teams finished towards the top, and added that in the late 80s a team made a habit of winning the tournament each year.
With so many people making their way to the area for the tournament, the economy could see a boost from its participants and fans.
Ramer said that hotel rooms are going to be hard to find for anyone traveling through the area, and added that this could really give the area a jumpstart.
There is no charge of admission to get into the tournament and concessions and T-Shirts will be sold at the event.