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Frustration leads league jump

 

Harold Carmichael has been a longtime fixture in area youth baseball.

From his many years of coaching and working with the Halifax County South program to his most recent involvement with the Dixie Boys and Dixie Junior Boys programs, Carmichael is a familiar figure in local baseball.

 

Carmichael is now a member of the board of directors of the Cardinal Youth Baseball program recently formed by South Hill residents Shep Moss and Doug Ezell.

He sat with Moss and Ezell at the head table during Saturday’s meeting of area baseball league representatives, offering support for the new program. After the meeting, he said it was frustration with the Dixie program that led to his involvement with Cardinal Youth Baseball.

“I’ve been frustrated with the Dixie Boys and Dixie Junior Boys program for several years,” Carmichael explained.

“In my opinion, there is a lack of organization, a lack of structure, and the morale is down. You go to the state meetings, and everybody sits there and complains, but then they (the officials and directors) go back and do the same stuff again.

“I had been involved with Shep and Doug for several years through Dixie Youth Baseball,” Carmichael continued.

“When they approached me about this idea, knowing the way they run our district in Dixie Youth, to me it was a no-brainer. Their character, their morals and the way they do things was exactly what I was looking for.”

A long-time advocate of youth baseball, Carmichael said just because Cardinal Youth Baseball is what he is looking for doesn’t necessarily mean that it is what the South Boston Dixie Junior Boys and Dixie Boys programs are searching for.

“Their board will have to decide that,” he pointed out.

“But, this program, in my mind, is the way the youth program for ages 13 through 18 should be run. There are so many positives. The people, the organization, the way they do things is what I think is their strong point.”

Carmichael points out that local baseball programs in some localities are losing ground. Halifax County and South Boston, he says, remain strong.

“Everybody complains they are losing kids for whatever reason,” Carmichael said.

“South Boston-Halifax County is in the minority in that regard with respect to baseball. We are still thriving. But, if you let the grass grow under your feet and don’t change with the times, you get left behind. I feel Cardinal Baseball will take you to the next step.

“Halifax County is very fortunate with its (baseball programs),” continued Carmichael.

“Even though we are split up in so many ways that a lot of people in the county don’t understand, the county is thriving with young people playing baseball, whether it be with Harrison (Conner) and the folks with the Babe Ruth program or with the Dixie Majors or the Dixie Boys and Dixie Youth programs. We’ve got to keep it that way. “

With that being said, Carmichael says he sees the beginnings of some slippage here.

“I see it in other areas, and I can see it slipping here a little bit,” noted Carmichael.

“I felt like this (Cardinal Youth Baseball) is a way to extend it at the very least, if not to continue on with it.

“I’m worried about the Hugh Moores, the Addison Marables, the Harrison Conners, the Charlie Moorefields and the people like them and all of the hard work they have done,” added Carmichael.

“They have put a lifetime into youth baseball in this community. I feel like it’s somebody’s responsibility to try to continue that. It’s America’s pastime. It’s the greatest sport there is.”

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