Safe at home

Equip 9-under runner Stacy Eggers scores a run in front of Lenoir Ravens catcher Sawyer Sime during the fourth inning of their Will Dicus tournament game in 2019. The next tournament is scheduled for June 20-21.

BOONE — People who play, volunteer or organize the Will Dicus Memorial Baseball Tournament are all in a holding pattern to find out if the fundraising event will take place.

The tournament, which raises money for baseball causes in Watauga County, has been scheduled for June 20-21. The COVID-19 virus may not let that happen.

Bill Dicus, who with Marty Lambert, Jay Jackson and Dan Shelton run the tournament, is hopeful that circumstances surrounding the virus calm down and youth baseball will be played in Watauga County. Dicus is not sure if that’s possible.

“We’ve actually made a plan,” Dicus said. “I don’t know if it’s going to work or not.”

The tournament used to draw so many teams that it was expanded to two weekends. This year, one weekend is the maximum time that will be used to host the event.

Dicus said he has had about 15 conversations with teams interested in playing. He is hopeful to grow to about 45 teams playing in the tournament, but that’s the cap being used.

“We know what’s going to happen for the spring,” Dicus said. “We don’t know what is going to happen for the summer.”

Dicus said organizers for the tournament have not determined if the tournament would be pushed back if it could not be played in June.

“We’re hopeful that things get worked out by mid-June to late-June,” Dicus said. “We want to do this. We’ve gotten used to doing it, but we kind of have to wait and see.”

The tournament was originally organized to help the Dicus family with medical bills associated with his son Will Dicus, who died with Ewing’s Sarcoma when he was 18. The tournament continued to help baseball and softball causes and projects in the county, including the Will Dicus Batting Facility at Watauga High School.

Bill Dicus also said the tournament has carried on to give baseball and softball teams a dress rehearsal for their postseason all-star tournaments.

“The fact that we’ve raised money and all that was good, and we like doing that,” Dicus said. “A lot of these organizations have pushed back their all-star tournaments until after July 4, and that’s why we keep gravitating back to the end of June.”

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