Sports Column: Costumed Softball Games Are Good Times, Good Works – The Vicksburg Post

Sports Column: Costumed softball games are good times, good deeds

Published Sunday 23 October 2022 at 8:00 am

More than 2 1/2 years after the start of the COVID-19 era, the sports world has regained its normalcy.
Not whole teams, but players miss games because of illness. The stadiums are full again. And events that have been on a long hiatus are coming back.

Included in this last category are a couple of fun Vicksburg games that seemed to have faded – Warren Central’s Softball Spooktacular and Vicksburg High’s Ugly Sweater Game.

The two holiday-themed softball events took root before the pandemic and then disappeared for 2020 and 2021. They return this year for good times and good works. Proceeds from both games go to various local causes.

“Were excited. For some of them it’s their last year and they never made it, but other people have told them about it. We’re all looking forward to getting back to normal,” said Warren Central softball coach Dana McGivney.

In case you forgot, the two events are slow pitch softball games pitting team members from Vicksburg and Warren Central against each other.

At the Warren Central game, scheduled for Monday at 6:00 p.m. at Lucy Young Field, players and coaches from the softball and baseball teams will wear Halloween costumes while they play.

The young fans in attendance will receive sweets and there will be a costume contest for players and fans. Admission is $3 for students and $5 for adults. Children under the age of 12 in traditional costume have free admission.

“Yes, it’s fun. Yes, it’s silly. The kids are having a great time. But it’s more about giving back to the community,” McGivney said. “That’s why we invite the little kids here. We want to provide them with a safe environment to come out and get candy if their children don’t feel safe going into the community.”

In addition to the community, the Softball Spooktacular will benefit a member of the Warren Central family. Baseball coach Jake Parker was recently diagnosed with cancer and the money raised will go to help him cover his expenses.

Helping someone in the community has always been the purpose of Spooktacular since it launched in 2014. In the past, money raised went directly to Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital and the families of Vicksburg children battling cancer.

McGivney hopes to raise more than $1,000 Monday night, about the same as any of his previous editions.

“This is the first year we have done this for a faculty member. We usually choose a kid or something. But when we heard from Coach Parker, we were keen to try and give something back to him. That makes it very special,” McGivney said.

Vicksburg’s Ugly Sweater Game, meanwhile, will be played on November 5 at its Softball Swamp Field. Much like its citywide counterpart, the game will be a co-ed slow-pitch game, with players wearing their fanciest — that is, hideous — Christmas jumpers.

The game will feature current VHS softball players and alumni. Registration for the alumni starts at 4 p.m., the game at 5 p.m.

It’s also for a good cause. Proceeds benefit the Warren County Sheriff’s Office Christmas toy drive. Admission costs fans either a cash donation or a new, unopened toy.

Fans can also purchase “chance cards” that enhance the game.

Both softball games had grown into annual traditions prior to the pandemic and are great to see again. Let’s fail and make them successes again.

Ernest Bowker is Sports Editor for the Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at [email protected]

WC Softball Spooktacular
• Monday, Oct. 24, 6 p.m
• At Warren Central High School
• A coed slow pitch game featuring players from the Warren Central softball and baseball teams in Halloween costumes. Prizes for best costume and candy will be given to children under 12 years old.
• Admission fee is $3 for students with ID, $5 for adults and children under 12 are free.
• All proceeds go to Jake Parker, Warren Central’s assistant baseball coach who is battling cancer.

VHS Ugly Sweater Softball Game
• Saturday 5 November
• On the Vicksburg High School softball swamp field on Lee Street
• A slow-paced softball game featuring the current VHS softball team and alumni players competing in ugly Christmas sweaters.
• Registration for alumni starts at 4:00 p.m., the game at 5:00 p.m.
• Entry to the game is a new toy or a monetary donation of any amount to benefit the Warren County Sheriff’s Department’s annual toy drive.

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is Sports Editor for the Vicksburg Post. He has been a member of the Vicksburg Post sports team since 1998, making him one of the longest-serving reporters in the newspaper’s 139-year history. A native of New Jersey, he graduated from LSU. During his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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