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Hartselle hosts State Dixie 7&8 tournament

Hartselle Mayor Dwight Tankersley and Hartselle 7-8 catcher Brody Peebles pose for a photo after Tankersley tossed out the first pitch to launch the 2011 State Dixie 7&8 Baseball Tournament on Friday afternoon. | Clif Knight

The opening of the State Dixie Baseball Tournament for 7- and 8-year-old all-stars was conducted at Reuben Sims Field Friday with an estimated crowd of more than 500 players, coaches family members and fans in attendance.

Players and coaches and their host families were introduced as they marched around the base paths with district flags flying. A prayer and the singing of the national anthem followed Tournament Director Ashley Balch introduced State Sen. Arthur Orr, Mayor Dwight Tankersley, Parks & Recreation Director Frank Miller, City Council Chairman Kenny Thompson and State Deputy Dixie Baseball Commissioner Kenny Boster.

Balch, Tankerlsey and Boster each spoke briefly and Tankersley pitched the first ball to Hartselle catcher Brody Peebles.

The tournament will continue through Wednesday.