By Jerrie Whiteley
The thick, cool mist that hung just above the diamonds at Denison’s T-Bar Softball fields Saturday afternoon didn’t seem to dampen the enthusiasm of the folks who turned out to play in the 30th annual Snowball Tournament in Denison over the weekend.
Sunny Mackey, Denison Parks and Recreation Department manager, said only one team that had registered failed to show up, and people continued to arrive at the ball fields Saturday. In all, 63 teams participated, which was seven more than last year. She said the city expected the event to bring between 600 and 700 people to town over the weekend.
One of those people was Bridgette Hubbard of Bonham who has played in the Snowball tournament in years past. “Today I am just here watching friends,” she said. “This is the first time in five years that I haven’t played.” She said this year’s turnout was really great, especially for the games later in the evening.
On Field 1, the Fatboyz wore bright pink shirts as they tried to hang on for another game. Just off the field, Magan Stone huddled in her shirt and waited to play. She said she would have liked to have seen weather more like it was earlier in the week.
“Its too cold today,” she said. The Colbert, Okla., native said camaraderie among the teams and love of the game keeps everyone warm when the temperatures get down right uncomfortable once the sun goes down. Teams played all through the night Friday and Saturday nights. Temperatures Saturday night were expected to remain near 50 degrees, but are forecast to reach into the 60s Sunday, with a chance of rain.
Taylor Earnhart of Whitesboro sat bundled up in the stands just a few feet from Field 2 Saturday afternoon. She said the difference between the Snowball tournament and the others she has attended with her ball-playing boyfriend is the family atmosphere. She said the playground provides a place for the children to let off some steam and enjoy themselves while the adults concentrate on the game. Her daughter, four-year-old daughter Addisyn, climbed up and down the bleachers and kept up with the outside world via Netflix and her mother’s phone.
“At a lot of tournaments, people leave and come back, but people stay here more,” Earnhart said.
The last games are scheduled to start Sunday afternoon.