Big Friday gives kids big-time stagePublished 10:54am Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Every young ballplayer dreams of stepping up to the plate, staring down the pitcher and hitting a game-winning shot in the big game.
Since 1987, members of the Fergus Falls Park and Recreation summer youth baseball and softball programs have gotten to experience this time of excitement in the form of “Big Friday.”
The tournament was started by the Park and Recreation Office under the direction of then Recreation Supervisor Keith Stafford. The tournament would have all Fergus Falls youth baseball and softball championship games to be played at Adams Park the following Friday.
Adding to the excitement is the coverage by Fergus Falls PEG access and announcing of Sports guru, Craig Olson.
Not many changes have happened since the first incarnation of the tournament. The only change occurred in 2005 as the tournament was moved from Adams Park to Broadway Park.
“The addition of restrooms and more parking was what made Broadway Park an improvement over Adams,” said Park and Recreation Director Steve Plaza.
This year over 574 kids are participating in the youth baseball and softball programs in Fergus Falls. There are also 32 volunteer coaches of these teams.
“When I arrived in Fergus Falls, the first program people asked me about was ‘Big Friday.’ Over the years it has become a community event. I even get adults telling me when they were in ‘Big Friday’ in the 90′s or earlier,” added Plaza.
This year’s “Big Friday” tournament extravaganza will be held at Broadway Park and will open with the T-ball championship at 8:30 a.m., followed by the Toss, Softball, Dwarf and Pony league championship games.
All championship games are set for the event, except T-ball and Pony leagues, which will finish Wednesday evening.
This is the premiere event of the summer for youth sports as players and parents will remember this moment for a lifetime.
“It is a great showcase for our program and participants, and it is something the kids will always remember even when their “Big Friday” medal is packed away in a box,” said Plaza. “The memory will always last.”