Stepping up to the plate

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DENISON -- The Dixie Girls Softball games are just getting underway tonight, but Denison Parks and Recreation officials say they need more people who can call a strike or an out to make sure every kid who wants to gets a chance to play.

Spring time in Texas means the start of softball season and time to hit the pool.

But Ron Nixon of Denison Parks and Recreation says with growth comes an increased demand in personnel.

"We need people for each night of the week, and when you grow as a group you need more people to have those things."

Denison Parks and Recreation expanded their softball leagues this year, with some leagues playing six nights a week.

But more games mean they need more umpires, scorekeepers, and concession stand workers.

"It's an extra income and it's fun being out there."

Nixon says an umpire can make 25 to 35 dollars a game, but it's hard to keep talented umpires because they lose veteran umps to high school ball for higher pay and more notoriety.

Over at Waterloo Pool, workers are gearing up for the peak swim season and Barbara Riedl says they still need about ten lifeguards for the summer.

"We have to have lifeguards on duty for all of our programs. We have lifeguards who are on duty protecting the safety of our patrons."

Riedl says anyone 15 and up can become lifeguards if they take the certification classes to earn safety credentials.

She says this year they need even more people to keep up with the high number of swimmers they expect as the weather heats up.

"Even though many times it will be a young person's first job it's still a very, very important position because it deals with keeping people safe."

Riedl says lifeguard applicants must take a pretest before enrolling in a certification class, where students swim a long distance, then dive after a brick and carry it.

She says they are conducting pretests this Friday.

At the softball field, Parks and Recreation officials say they'll train candidates on scoring and officiating duties, which they say is a lot of fun.

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