DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — The Dothan Diamond Classic is right around the corner.
The tournament draw took place at the Wiregrass Museum of Art Monday.
Twenty local high schools will compete in a softball tournament sponsored by the city of Dothan.
Proceeds from sponsorships and gate entry sales are given to the schools for their athletic programs.
“The community has been excellent this year with sponsorship,” said Rhonda Kirk, the tournament director. “Even with the COVID pandemic and all, they’ve been very kind to us, extremely kind.”
The tournament will begin with pool play, and based on how a team does in pool play, they will be put into a single-elimination bracket.
How they do in single elimination determines how much money they get to take back to their school.
The money is extremely important to these softball programs as most of them start the season with very little money, according to Kirk.
At the inaugural tournament in 2019, more than $40,000 went back to the teams.
The Diamond Classic was cancelled last year because of COVID-19.
That’s why Kirk said the players are extra excited for the tournament this year.
“To get after it and play. Last year they were devastated that they didn’t get to play,” she said. “I mean a lot of these kids. You take Dothan High, for example, they had one of the best teams they’ve had in years, and they didn’t get to show the community that. They were pretty discouraged about that, but now we’re ready to play and get after it.”
The last day of the classic will feature a homerun derby hosted by Dothan High alum and former Auburn great Kasey Cooper.
Cooper will compete against the high school girls in the derby.
The event will take place at Westgate Softball Complex and James Oates Park.
The tournament takes place April 13-17.