By Chris Parsons / Staff Writer
CORBIN — A legend as far as softball tournaments go, the 40th Annual Woodbine Rebels Softball Shootout will get underway today at Corbin’s Miller Park.
With a strong field of teams and a tradition that’s unrivaled in Kentucky, tournament director Jimmy Hendrickson Jr. said he expects the event to be as good as ever as around 30 teams battle to play in Sunday’s championship game.
“We feel like the field is really strong this year and like I said, the tradition of this thing is like very few other tournaments,” Hendrickson Jr. said. “We’ve been doing this thing for a long time now and it seems like teams never lose interest in it from year to year.”
When it comes to the tournament and the week leading up to it, Hendrickson said the overall feeling when Friday rolls around takes on more of a family reunion type of atmosphere in more than one way. The fact the tournament was started by the Hendrickson family aids in the reunion part since it still takes a family effort to get things done.
“It’s a big deal to our family because my dad and uncle started the whole thing back when they were playing softball,” Hendrickson Jr. said. “Now me and my brother play in it and a lot of my family have some kind of role they play in getting ready for the tournament or making sure it’s run well.
“In addition to our family being involved, the people that come out and play in it are like a big family as well,” he added. “Softball has a circuit that a lot of these teams play on as the year progresses, so you really see a lot of people that are good friends and have developed really long relationships because of it.”
Tournament action will get started today at 7 p.m. with games being played at Barbourville City Park as well.