Former University of Oklahoma and Dallas Cowboys head football coach Barry Switzer headlined a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday that introduced new scoreboards at Ed Worrell Park.
Switzer donated the scoreboards to the Texarkana, Ark., Baseball Association. Eleven scoreboards were donated, with five of those going to Ermer Dansby Pondexter Sports Complex (formerly known as Hobo Jungle Park).
"I know how important team sports are," Switzer said. "My profession was in team sports for over 50 years. I know the value of a team concept. I want to get kids off of their phones and let them learn how to practice, how to sacrifice, how to win and how to lose—all of those lessons that come with it.
"They need to know what team sports will give them in life; it will carry them to success the rest of their lives."
Switzer was born in Crossett, Ark., but moved to Long Beach, Calif., before starting school. Switzer played youth sports in California before his family moved back to Crossett, Ark., where he began the fourth grade.
"I learned how to compete and give effort in youth sports," Switzer said. "I learned the will to prepare. Everyone wants to win. Does a player have the will to prepare to win? To be good, I had to pay a price. Kids need to give all of their effort in everything they do. When they learn how to do that, it will become part of their lives. It was be habitat and woven into the fiber of their being."
Jackie Kirkland, the president of TABA, and Texarkana, Ark., Mayor Allen Brown each attended and shared in the festivities, among many others.
"To be able to come out, see the scoreboards, and see the improvement that they have made makes a tremendous difference," Brown said. "It's very nice and is a place that everyone can come and enjoy. Those scoreboards, with Coach Switzer's help, is a great addition to the park.
"This facility is a top-notch facility, and it just tops it off with having those new digital scoreboards installed."
Ed Worrell Park is the host to multiple Dixie Youth Baseball games, and the park will host the 10u and 6u Arkansas Dixie state tournaments from July 12-14.
TABA is looking for community support and any volunteer help for the 2020 Regional World Series, which will be held next July at the park. Texarkana is expected to host 50-60 teams from the region for the World Series.
The gate fee for games at the park is $5 with children 5 and younger admitted free.