Baseball and softball seasons get underway this week in Loris and city leaders are hoping the days of delayed and canceled games due to poor field drainage is a thing of the past.
During a Loris Chamber of Commerce luncheon held Thursday of this past week, Tom Cocke, head of the Loris Recreation Department, gave an update on the drainage work that has been taking place at the city’s baseball fields.
“We are putting drainage under every field. We are resurfacing the fields. Putting down new clay,” Cocke said.
When the drainage project was complete on one of the fields, it rained on a Friday and teams were able to play the following day.
“That is a huge feat for us at the Rec Department,” he said.
The drainage upgrade is just one of the many things being done to improve the recreation facilities in Loris.
Cocke said more than 5,000 feet of yellow fence toppers is being added to all the fencing at the ballfields.
“We are working on signage. We are working on keeping the grass green. There is major stuff happening,” he said.
Cocke said because of funding the recreation department has received, a lot of things will be taking place in upcoming months.
“We have completely revamped the bath house. If you come out [to the Recreation Center] in 60 days it will look completely different,” he said.
One of the reasons Cocke said the improvements are important is because it is the goal to begin to attract more youth sports tournaments to the city. He said sports tourism is something that would be a big boost for the Loris business community.
“I have already had two national softball leagues call me asking about our facilities because North Myrtle Beach is booked, and they want to come use our complex for a four-day stretch. And, that is easily 2,000 – 3,000 people,” Cocke said. “We are going to start to develop that sports tourism aspect. Obviously, not on the scale of the beach but it is going to happen.”
Samantha Norris, president of the Loris Chamber of Commerce, said it is important the business community and the various departments within the city, such as the recreation department, work together to help Loris continue to grow and improve.