A.J. Holloway Sports Complex now more accessible to public - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

A.J. Holloway Sports Complex now more accessible to public

Coach Ronnie Seymour gets his Biloxi Little League All-Star players ready for a regional tournament in Texas. (Photo source: WLOX) Coach Ronnie Seymour gets his Biloxi Little League All-Star players ready for a regional tournament in Texas. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

The gates to the A.J. Holloway Sports Complex in Biloxi haven't always been as open as they were on this day. Because of staffing issues, they've been locked more than parents and coaches were willing to accept, but their voices have gotten the attention of Mayor FoFo Gilich and his administration.

“As an all-star team or even a league team, we can't get the gates open at all,” said parent Lex Galle. “But, when it seems like the city can make money on it, it happens. It’s an ongoing battle just to have a two-hour practice out here.”

Parents have on occasion had to haul their children all across the Coast for practice sessions.

Now, at Gilich’s insistence, the city has resolved the staffing issue that will allow the fields to stay open for practice from 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, without spending any public money.

Vincent Creel, City of Biloxi spokesman, said the city will work within the current budget to accommodate the staffing, but the funding will be addressed during the next budgeting phase.

“It’s great when you have such a demand like that,” Creel said. “This is just one of the many things that you're going to see Mayor Gilich take a second look at and say, ‘Hey, why can’t we do this or why can’t we do that.’ What he’s doing is challenging these directors to make these things happen.”

Alicia Mattina’s son plays for the Biloxi Little League All-Stars U-10 team getting ready for the Cal Ripken regional tournament in Columbus, TX.

“It would definitely mean everything to the residents that don’t have to drive down the road to go somewhere else to practice,” Mattina said. “You know, we need this complex open. This complex is for Biloxi kids. It should be open.”

Biloxi Little League All-Star Coach Ronnie Seymour is optimistic about what this means, not only for his group, but for everyone who wants to use the park.

“Anything to make it easier on us,” Seymour said. “We’re volunteers. These kids want to play ball. I don’t get paid to do this, and I just think it would be a lot easier if those opportunities were easier to get to than not.”

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