SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Parents and coaches in Surfside Beach aren't backing down when it comes to their kids' baseball and softball programs at the Huckabee Park Complex. This week, members of the association in charge of the sports league hope to strike a long-lasting agreement with the town's council.
Last week, WMBF News told you about Surfside Beach Town Council's consideration to stop supporting the Surfside Beach Youth Sports Association, SBYSA, and sell the Huckabee Park Complex. You can read more about that story here. Now, the tide has turned. Jeff George, SBYSA vice president, said he and other SBYSA board members are meeting with Surfside Beach Town Council members Ron Ott and Randle Stevens, the town administrator, and public works and finance representatives to compromise how to keep the complex and its sports leagues.
George said the conversations have been positive, and he intends they will continue to move forward with a favorable plan for both sides. However, while spring ball is officially on, the destiny for the fall session of youth baseball and softball isn't definite. George said council cannot defund the program for spring session because registration has already begun. But, if given 30 days notice, the town council can cancel fall session. The goal is, George said, to get an agreement 'set in stone' to save the league and park.
Now, the Myrtle Beach Pelicans are getting involved by supporting SBYSA opening day. George said said it's a growing trend for the minor leagues to get involved with local baseball. So, the Pelicans chose to come out and support Surfside Beach's baseball and softball leagues.
The Pelican's mascot, Splash, and friends will be out at the Huckabee Park Complex opening day, March 11. A Pelicans representative confirmed the Splash and others from the Pelicans will be out on opening day, but additional activities are still being worked out.
George said this opening day will be bigger than ever, in celebration of getting to stay. Other events include a live national anthem, picture day and player introduction, he said.
One parent active in the fight to keep the leagues, says the Pelicans support was exciting news for her kids.
"I think for a small town, like Surfside, I think that actually is amazing. These kids don't only just need these wonderful dads that come out here and do all the free time that they do for coaching and that sort but to have the professionals come out and also help, that's pretty amazing," she said.