Richard Bryant says Little League is in good shape locally, but he is eager to see growth.
"The numbers are good, but we would like to have more kids playing," he said.
The District 8 administrator plans increased promotion, especially in the southern end of Columbus.
He figures this week will be a great time for parents and children not already involved in Little League to come out and see what it is all about.
Never miss a local story.
Beginning today, teams from nine leagues will be competing in the Smith/Ashley Tournament of Champions at Pioneer Field on West Britt David Road in Columbus.
It will be a fun time for anyone who enjoys baseball and softball.
"These are the best, the league champs," Bryant said.
Four Pioneer fields will be in use.
There will be competition in different divisions, and play is scheduled to run through June 9.
"Hopefully the weather will cooperate," Bryant said.
Games will begin at 5:30 p.m. except for Saturday, when the starting time is 10 a.m. No games will be played on Sunday.
There is no admission charge.
Though it is called the city championship, teams from Harris County and Chattahoochee County compete. The Columbus leagues are Peach, Pioneer, Northern, Sally, Eastern, National and American.
Bryant took over the role as administrator after longtime administrator Bernard Ashley died of a heart attack in February. Bryant had been his assistant for about 10 years.
"His death really caught me off guard," Bryant said.
The two had talked that week and Ashley told Bryant he was feeling fine.
This year, Ashley's name was added to the tournament title next to that of Tommy Smith, a longtime Little League umpire who suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
"Tommy told me he would be honored to have Bernard Ashley's (name) next to his," Bryant said.
The retired Bryant, a former Army staff sergeant and truck driver, has been involved with local Little League since 1995. He has coached both baseball and softball and spent many years running a concession stand. Currently, he has both a child and four grandchildren playing locally, as well as a son coaching.
"It's all about the kids, and I just love being around them," said Bryant of his time with Little League. "I don't think it is about winning and losing. Little League is about learning the game and having fun."