Land donated for ball fields in Sebrell

Published 10:13 am Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Participating in a groundbreaking for Courtland Youth Athletic Association’s new ball field were, from left, association members Ronald Johnson, Trina Johnson and Lance Simms; property donor Ruth Ann Story; association member Ricky Forrest; property donor Gene Story; project managers Roland Jernigan and Larry Little; and association member Mark Lowe. -- SUBMITTED

SEBRELL—Courtland Youth Athletic Association on Saturday broke ground for a new softball-baseball complex on Highway 35 near Sebrell.

“We were fortunate enough to run across a couple who was very generous,” said Association President Lance Simms.

The association purchased a portion of the 30 acres from Ruth and Gene Story, who donated the rest and financed the association’s share.

The association’s 10 teams play at Southampton Academy. Growth forced the group to explore other options.

“Southampton Academy has and continues to be good partners for the Courtland Youth Athletic Association,” Simms said. “We have just grown so much over the years. We just feel we needed a place.”

The association has one field under construction and hopes to have it ready for play next season. The project also will include building a fence and parking lot, and installing lighting. The three- to five-year plan includes building three additional fields.

The association is asking foundations to help fund the project and is hosting monthly Bingo games the first Thursday of every month at the Southampton County Fairgrounds.

“We’ve gotten a lot of services donated and at reduced rates,” Simms said. “People have been very, very generous and want to do everything they possibly can.”

If interested in helping or donating money, Simms can be reached at 672-2247 or