The town of Havelock is hosting the Babe Ruth North Carolina State Softball Tournament starting on Saturday, and New Bern is sending four teams of different age groups to compete.
New Bern’s Babe Ruth Softball League took 6U, 8U, 10U and 12U teams to the district tournament in Smyrna June 15-19. League president Melissa Wright said the 6U and 8U teams went undefeated in the tournament and took first place. New Bern 10U finished second, while 12U took first place after losing their first game of the tournament.
Now all four teams will make the short trip to Havelock to compete in the state tournament with New Bern’s 8U, 10U and 12U teams competing for a chance to go to the World Series in Florida if they claim first place. .
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In baseball, the New Bern Sunday School League All-Star teams for 8U, 10U and 12U also won their district championships and will play in the state tournament this Saturday in Winterville. All three will now play for a state championship.
“New Bern had a great weekend,” Wright said. “Seeing all the hard work pay off is something that’s been building for a few years. Finally, we’re seeing the benefits of what we put into the leagues here in New Bern.”
Wright went on to say that last week’s performances by New Bern’s All-Star baseball and softball teams may be the most collective success each league has had at any given time; it’s a testament to the hard work and support provided by the players, coaches, parents and supporters.
“I think that’s really important because we’re teaching these girls and giving them something to look forward to,” Wright added. “Getting them outside and not behind computers, keeping them out of trouble, giving them a group of friends they may not have elsewhere.”
Havelock will also send 6U, 8U, 10U, 12U and 16U teams to compete in the state tournament. For the full tournament schedule, click here.
Havelock to get the necessary economic boost
Havelock last hosted the state softball tournament just before the COVID-19 pandemic. City staff explained that the tournament hosted 51 teams.
This weekend, a total of 29 teams will compete, and with the possibility of hosting again, City Manager Chris McGee is delighted with what it will bring to tourism and local businesses.
“It’s huge for the city,” McGee said. “When you do the math, you’re talking about 29 teams, the young girls, the coaches, the parents and then the locals coming to watch some of the games, that could be several thousand people coming to Havelock.”
The overall financial impact is unknown, however, McGee added. With the large number of visitors coming to the city, hotel rooms, restaurants and other local businesses are sure to benefit from this boost.
The city is helping to strengthen its identity and has begun to incorporate more local events for residents and tourists. In addition to having a high school football program in the state, McGee explained that opportunities such as the state softball tournament could help put Havelock on the map for more than just the military.
“Most people, when you think of Havelock, you think of MCAS Cherry Point and FRC East,” McGee said. “That’s the cornerstone of Havelock. We would also like to create an image for Havelock where people think about other things and not just the basics.
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