Community rallies for little league tournament

Last year, Tim Maharrey started what he hoped would become an annual event, one that would honor the life of a young lady, whose life ended tragically in a car accident.
After the success of last year’s “Let’s Play for Emily” little league tournament, Maharrey has added more participants to this year’s event, which will take place tonight and tomorrow at Myrtle.
“I’ve had people calling me since the winter asking me if I’m doing the tournament again this year and if they can play,” he said. “I’ve been overwhelmed with calls, and I apologize for anyone who I’ve had to turn away, but I’m honored so many people want to take part in this.”
Twenty-one teams are slated for the two-day event with all proceeds going toward scholarships for Myrtle students. In 2010, four students received $500 scholarships based on the money that was taken from a rain-shorted tournament. If Mother Nature chooses to cooperate this year, that amount could be even more, giving back to the students, friends, that Emily McDonald cared for.
Teams from Mooreville, Holly Springs, Water Valley and Yalobusha County have called, trying to book a spot in this year’s tournament, but it is the outpouring support from Union County that has this year’s event even bigger.
“The high school coaches (Robert Gordon, Chris Basil and Ashley Russell) all have teams they’re bringing over, and the community commissioners have been outstanding in helping bring teams over,” Maharrey said. “The community has really rallied to make this a successful event and one that is not only fun for the kids, but also helps us remember the life of Emily.”
The tournament will open tonight with Emily’s brother, Max Hancock, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. Nine games will take place, with Emily’s grandfather, Bill Hancock, throwing out the first pitch for the girls 13U fast pitch game.
Saturday will kickoff at 8 a.m. with everything from coach pitch, kid pitch and 13U boys baseball taking place. The last game is slated to begin at 3:30, and every game will run on an hour time limit. And like last year, every kid that participates will receive a medal.
“This isn’t about winning first or second or anything like that,” Maharrey said. “This is about the kids having fun, kicking off the little league season, and most importantly, remembering the life of Emily. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.”