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SMITH COLUMN: Exposure event very good cause for East Webster

August 18, 2012

Danny P. Smith

An early Saturday morning storm dumped a tremendous amount of rain upon the Starkville Sportsplex softball fields.

With the thought of how wet it was going to be to have a softball tournament, it was necessary to call tournament director Dan Moreland to see if the 10th annual Exposure Tournament was going to be played.

"We're playing," Moreland said when reached on his cell phone Saturday morning. "We're going to back the games up two hours, but we're going to begin playing at noon."

And play, they did.

Despite the threat of additional rain throughout the day, there were softball games played on Saturday.

Moreland felt the cause of the tournament was important enough to make the adjustment and get as many games in as possible.

Even though the purpose of the Exposure Tournament was to allow college and junior college coaches the opportunity to watch potential recruits, the proceeds of the event went to benefit East Webster High School.

Moreland had donated funds to the Wolverines, but after last year's tornado destroyed the school at the Cumberland campus, he saw the need to keep giving them money.

"It's a very nice thing Mr. Moreland does for East Webster High School," East Webster softball coach Lee Berryhill said. "It's a big fundraiser for us so all of the parents and all the players chip in. We're grateful for it. We try to do as much work as we can for him because it is a big fundraiser for us and everybody needs a fundraiser. We're glad to have it and glad to work it. It's a lot of work, but are glad to do it."

At 6:30 a.m., Berryhill said the Lady Wolverines arrived at the Sportsplex to see standing water everywhere. The players took off their shoes and went to work.

"The girls barefooted, dipped out the water and did what we had to do to keep the tournament on," Berryhill said. "People showed up."

Berryhill was right. The parking lot was full at noon and there was a nice crowd watching the action.

It's nice to be able to watch an event that's well-attended and knowing the funds are going to a worthy cause.

East Webster is slowly coming back and construction has begun on a new school. Efforts such as the Exposure Tournament will help the process along.

Even though the rain came back later in the day and washed out several games of the tournament, it still served the purpose in which it was intended.

The weather certainly hasn't done the Wolverines any favors the last two years, but it was another case of just what determination can accomplish.
Apparently, Moreland has noticed that as well with his generosity.

"(Moreland) has been good to us and every year he puts on this," East Webster principal Bill Brand said. "We appreciate him letting us come over, work and support our softball program."

Danny P. Smith is sports editor and columnist for the Starkville Daily News. The opinions in this column are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Daily News or its staff.

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