Southside Baseball League Seeks Donations

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- The non-profit, Southside Youth Development, is giving kids from Southside, Alton Park, and Emma Wheeler Homes the chance to swing, pitch, and catch all throughout the Summer.

“There is a big history of baseball around Chattanooga with inter-community leagues” said President of the non-profit, Xavier Cotto. “As coaches have gone back and forth through these communities with their high school kids, their seeing these run-down, over grown baseball fields.”

Howard’s baseball coach John Johnson along with other community members, have teamed up with the non-profit to create a summer baseball league children in the area.

The team will use Howard’s updated field, as well as the remodeled the Emma Wheeler Homes field for practices and games.

“We’re looking to have 50 kids 8-12 years old learning how to play baseball” said Coach Johnson. “But again, baseball is a means to an end in making that person a better individual. To learn things like obedience. Do what you’re told when you’re told with a good attitude. Learn how to have a solid work ethic. Learn how to understand what to do when I deal with frustration or failure. Things like that sports can teach us. That’s why I’m here. I love doing this.”

The program also kicked off a donation clinic so that they can have enough equipment when more kids show up.

And after a long time time being sheltered from the pandemic, the group expects more aspiring baseball players to come out and play.

“The mission is to have kids have somewhere where they can just walk over to the field fromntheir houses. So it’s a sandlot style little league that we have going on.”

Coach Johnson shares his vision for the program going forward.

“I would love to have one day where we have the southside, the west side, the east side of Chattanooga all playing baseball” said Coach Johnson. “We start to create positive rivalries where we learn how to play baseball and we take kids around to different outings. Education, exposure, and experiences is our goal.”

To donate, you can contact the Southside Youth Development through their Facebook page here: http://Facebook.com/sydchatt

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