Kickball with the Cleveland-Bolivar Young Professionals

As some of you noticed yesterday, I spent most of the day playing kickball.  It was a lot of fun.  In Fifth Grade I played everyday at recess either outside on the basketball court or in the gym when the weather was bad.  So yesterday brought back fond memories.  The big difference was that this time, we got to play on an actual baseball field so there was no hunting down the ball when it rolled in the woods or watching it bounce off the ceiling.

The “we” in the last sentence refers to the Cleveland-Bolivar Young Professionals (referred to below as CBYP).  Their mission, as stated on their website is to provide opportunities for professional development, networking, and relationship building.  Now I’ve never been a member of such a group although a friend of mine was involved in one up in Albany, NY a while back.  He told me they went to dinners and bars and such. However in the South people like to do things outdoors and so kickball it was.

Surprisingly I didn’t mind the heat.  Then again it was only about 90° which is not that bad for this time of year.  Adapting to the climate has not proven that hard so far.  Perhaps in December I may miss snow.  Perhaps.  I certainly won’t miss scraping ice off my car in the morning.

Anyhow, the tournament itself was blast. We had four teams, three from CBYP and one semi-professional team.  I’ll get to that in a minute.  We started at 10:30 and ended around 4:30.  With so many people no one had to play for more than an hour or two before resting and we all got to play about two or three times in the whole day.  CBYP provided three large bins filled with water, soda, and ice although most people brought their own coolers (many filled with beer).  They also had a speaker system set up that played music all day ranging from 90s pop and rap to country.  A local hot dog vendor, Hipster Hot Dogs even set up so we could have lunch (and they were really good).

Yesterday’s event was the third I’ve been to if one counts trivia night at a local bar called Hey Joe’s.  I am beginning to get the lay of the social landscape so to speak.  Many people know each other in Cleveland and a lot of the same folks come to the these sorts of things.  That’s probably just in the nature of living in a small town.  However it makes it easier to make friends.  On top of that I’ve noticed people are friendlier down here.  They make an effort to get to know new people like myself.  This has taken some getting use to, but it is refreshing in a way since I can be a little more confident that I’ll eventually make friends.

Like I said above, there was a semi-pro kickball team at the tournament, known as All in One.   As it turns out Kickball is a big deal.  There is a World Adult Kickball Association with teams in over 30 states and numerous smaller leagues such as the North Central Mississippi Kickball Association where yesterday’s team was from.  I knew dodgeball made a come back some years ago, but this is new to me.  Nostalgia is a powerful and wonderful thing. 

In the end All in One took home the first place trophy.  But the game was fun all the same.  CBYP has events every month with the next one being a community service event.  I look forward to giving back some of the help that has been given to me. 

Article by Mike

Mike is the Head of Discovery Services for the Delta State University Library. He has lived in Cleveland since May 2013.

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