Heber Springs Parks and Recreation Director Jimmy Clark estimates at least 2,500 people flocked to town for the ASE State Tournament held June 28-30 at the alluring Heber Springs Sports Complex.
The 71-team tournament included teams from El Dorado, Bentonville, Jonesboro, Lonoke and many places in between, creating an exciting buzz around town, especially for local restaurants and hotels.
“Every hotel in town was booked for two nights. Some had to stay in Searcy or Conway,” said Clark. “I talked to a lot of business owners who said they had never seen so many different ball caps in their entire life. The restaurants were full. Subway said they had never had a more profitable weekend. We had teams from all four corners of the state.”
Clark said it took several people working until 1 a.m. to make the tournament a success. “I would like to thank the Advertising and Promotion Commission of Heber Springs and the hotels for working with us and helping with rooms for the umpires. I would also like to thank Athletic Director Justin Hudspeth and Grounds Supervisor Stacy Mills and the grounds crew for their hard work.”
Heber plans to host two more tournaments before the summer season ends, whether run by ASE or USSSA.
Will Roark, Director of ASE Tournaments in Arkansas, was impressed with the ballpark. “He said we have one of the top three parks in the state along with Conway and Bryant,” said Clark.
“People love coming to Heber Springs. Some went to the lake and Sandy Beach between games. There were several boats in the parking lot.”
Heber's 7U Cardinals enjoyed the most success out of the local teams ¬ earning second place with wins over teams from Cabot, Ozark and Vilonia. Paragould won the 7U tournament.