Some sports fans live and breathe for football season, and that time is not too far away now that itís the middle of July. But the wait for that kickoff doesnít mean summer is a time of rest and relaxation. This month, five district and two state youth baseball and softball tournament are being played in Brown County ball parks.

It takes a combination of willing volunteers, good facilities plus an energetic tourism industry featuring good hotels and restaurants to make a community attractive for such events. A central location in the massive Lone Star State also doesnít hurt when league officials are making decisions about where to play these important games.

The players, their coaches and families will travel hundreds of miles to participate in these events, and Brown County offers an ideal location for them. Recent rains, particularly last week, presented challenges for scheduling as the tournaments unfolded, but conditions have been more favorable this week. Hopefully, forecasts for increased chances of rain this weekend will not present problems as games continue.

For many of these travelers, these tournaments represent the family vacation, so it is paramount that they have a pleasant experience. Whether itís a waiter at a restaurant, a clerk at a retailer or the desk clerk at a motel, tourism is everybodyís business.

A story in Sundayís sports section detailed some of the economic benefits such tournaments provide the community, but they can be so much more than even that when the community welcomes its guests appropriately. All the out-of-town marketing chambers of commerce can afford canít take the place of a handful of people going back to their homes and telling friends about the hospitality they received here. It will pay dividends for years to come.

Brownwood Bulletin