Under the lights once again

About seven years ago it stopped.No more games. No more slides. No more home runs.The softball field behind the Big Ivy Community Center has been dormant since near the turn of the century. Thanks to some grassroots com-munity efforts, this once vibrant community unifier will once again see some action.Gerald Carswell and his wife Lisa, as well as Quincey Brock, Rick Slaughter and Wayne Maney represent the board in the newly formed Barnardsville Church Soft-ball League.Under the lights once again The softball field in Barnardsville, located behind the Big Ivy Community Center, is getting a much-needed facelift thanks to some community efforts. Players from Dillingham Presbyterian Church, Locust Grove Bap-tist Church, Piney Mountain Bap-tist Church, Weaverville United Methodist Church, North Asheville Baptist Church and Mountain Valley Methodist Church will begin preseason league action April 26. A men’s league is expected to form in the fall.Not only is the league organizing the games, they are also helping provide a facelift to the field.New lights, a new home run fence, a regraded infield, updates to the dugouts and a new concession stand will be some of the field’s new features.The community effort has been outstanding, Brock said.“It’s very unusual to see a community pull together like this,” he said.The Carswell helped run a youth league in the late 1990s at the field. However, once their children out-grew the league, it fell, much like the field, by the wayside. Lisa Carswell said this opportunity is like a second chance for her and her husband.“It’s kind of like a dream come true,” she said. “Everything has fallen into place.”Area businesses and individuals such as L.C. Chandler, Haynes Electric, J.B. Williams, Maney Construction and WNC Door have pitched in to assist with the beautification efforts with the field as well as area youth.The Big Ivy Community Center has also been very receptive to the initiative, including offering the league a very favorable lease, Brock said.“None of this would have happened without the Big Ivy Community Center,” he added.Ever since the league began forming, Gerald Carswell said Barnardsville has been buzzing with excitement.“Some people said they just want to come out, have something to eat and watch a ball game,” he said. “Everybody around here is getting really excitement.”The league will feature up to nine co-ed teams, with members from high-school age and up.For more information on the league or to follow the teams’ prog-ress, go to

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