As the weather warms and spring emerges, Thomas County Central eyes its busiest athletic weekend of the semester.
The school will host the Yellow Jacket Invitational and the alumni baseball game on Saturday with expectations of a vast turnout. Weather conditions call for only a 20 percent chance of rain and temperatures in the mid-60s.
“It’s something the people in our community really look forward to,” Central athletic director Mike Singletary said. “We have a very nice facility and enjoy doing it. It’s one of the biggest events we have all year.”
Central has hosted this event for over twenty consecutive years, with only one event plagued by weather.
Central is one of 15 schools that will participate in the track meet that consists of 21 events for both boys and girls. Saturday’s competition will run roughly from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
It’s the third meet the Yellow Jackets will compete in this young season, and the second largest all year.
“It gives us a sense of pride because this has been going on for quite some time,” Girls track coach Chad Ward said. ““To have it continue to go on the third weekend in March every year, it’s a great thing to host. We look forward to it every year.”
The second annual alumni baseball game will commence at 11 a.m. with a meet and greet before the home run derby begins at noon. Former Yellow Jackets can participate for $1 per swing, and all proceeds will benefit the Shop With A Yellow Jacket program during the holidays.
The 7-inning alumni game will follow at 1 p.m. and feature teams divided by odd and even graduation years.
“I miss playing and competing, but the biggest thing I miss is the comraderie with teammates; the relationships you form,” Central baseball coach Chad Parkerson said. “This is kind of one of those deals where we put it together to get everyone back to play a little game, shake hands and catch up on old times.”
Parkerson, a Valdosta High School graduate, generated the idea after attending a comparable event at his alma mater.
“I had a blast participating in it, and I kind of wanted to create one for the guys around here,” Parkerson said. “There’s just a whole lot of laughing and fun all around.”
Those interested can register day of at the Thomas County Central baseball complex.