The 6th Annual Will Dicus Memorial Baseball Tournament will be held this weekend, June 21-22. Games will be played at Watauga High School, and the Watauga County Parks and Recreation Department.
The baseball games (the 8-and-under, 10-and-under, and 12-and-under) will be played at the Optimist, Industrial and Complex Fields; the softball games (12-and-under) will be played at Watauga High School.
The primary goal of the Will Dicus Tournament is to provide an opportunity for players of various ages to play tournament baseball in an enjoyable and affordable atmosphere. Playing ball is what this tournament is all about, and that is what Will Dicus would have wanted. Our secondary goal is to raise funds for local and charitable causes. Profits from this tournament are donated annually to several local causes in the High Country Region. And this tournanment will also serve as a fund raiser towards helping the WHS baseball & softball building fund(see: http://www.goblueridge.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=16706:dicus-tournament-most-successful-in-history&catid=55&Itemid=157 ).
We are and will remain a 100% non-profit tournament. The tournament grew from 12 teams in two age groups in 2009 to 38 teams in four baseball and two girls softball age groups in 2013. For 2014, tournaments are planned for 12u and 10u baseball, 8u machine pitch baseball, and 12u girls softball. New in 2014 will be a 12u tourney at 50'/70' with lead offs allowed??.
The Tournament is also named after Will Dicus, who was born to play baseball. From a very early age Will was an athlete. He loved all competitive sports, once scoring 29 of his team's 31 points in a pee-wee basketball game. But baseball was special to him. He was the star pitcher on any team he was a member of through age 12. Then the rules changed. What was initially diagnosed as stress fractures in his left shin continually bothered him. Further tests revealed Ewings Sarcoma - a rare form of bone cancer that primarily shows up in teenagers. Immediate chemotherapy for four months followed, then surgery to replace his left tibia with cadaver bone. He had a full leg cast for six months while the doctors told him his athletic future might include golf at the best. The chemotherapy wasn't killing all the cancer cells which had begun to migrate to his lungs and chest. The last five years of his life had Will traveling the country for experimental treatments.
But through it all he played baseball. Will pitched a no-hitter for his high school JV team and a one-hitter as a Varsity player. He even got a pinch hit single, knowing the only player on the other team who couldn't throw him out as he limped to first was the left fielder. So, a slap hit to left field it was. He ended his high school batting career with a one thousand average and his pitching career without losing a game.
Will passed in summer 2009. Nothing would please him more than to be able to help build an indoor baseball practice facility for his high school teammates at their new high school.
Photo Courtesy: Will Dicus, PHOTO SUBMITTED