BY MELANIE BUCK –
Mena Public Schools has won the bid to host their second consecutive Class 4A State Softball Tournament, a fete considered an honor by Mena administration. Mena hosted the softball tournament last year and also hosted the state volleyball tournament last fall, making this their third time to host a state tournament on home turf in 13 months.
Mena Superintendent Benny Weston said, “We feel very privileged to have been awarded the state tournament again. We feel this is an indication that the AAA was pleased with how our Mena School District and community successfully partnered to host our previous tournaments.”
Mena Schools Federal Coordinator Paulette Sherrer said, “Our community works really hard to help us host this and we are so appreciative of all they do.”
Bringing state tournaments in also brings revenue to the community. The economic impact of such a tournament on a community can be huge. Twelve teams will play in the tournament and eight of those teams will have to stay at least one night, filling local hotels. Also, most will eat 3-4 times while in town, giving business to local eateries. Coach Hunter pointed out that most softball parents travel with the teams, tripling the number of out-of-towners that will be in the area, requiring more hotel stays and more meals. And, with each team having only one game a day, the visitors will have many hours to use to take advantage of the area’s sights and activities.
The Class 4A State Tournament will be held at Mena May 12 – 14, 2016.