It has been 20 years since baseball was played on the original Cluster Springs ball field.

Thanks to the work of the Conner family and now Steve Bryant, the Cluster Springs ballpark hosted the NC GameOn Sports travel baseball Fireworks Classic over the weekend.

Ten teams in two 12U divisions competed on the original Cluster Springs field and one of the newer fields that Harrison Conner built to compete for the Fireworks Classic championship.

The tournament began on Saturday morning with pool play taking place. The teams in each division played for seeding in the championship bracket that was played on Sunday. Results from Sunday’s championship bracket were not available at press time Sunday.

Teams from Hillsborough and Raleigh, North Carolina, Richmond and surrounding areas converged on the fields on Saturday to play the game they love. Some of the team members from North Carolina were playing in their first tournaments of the year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The HYAA Hawks from Hillsborough just had a tournament canceled last weekend in North Carolina and were excited that Halifax County was able to host the tournament.

Halifax County will host two more NC GameON Sports tournaments in the coming weeks. The eighth annual Ring Championship will take place Saturday-Sunday, and the King of the Diamond will be played on July 18-19.

The tournament this coming weekend has 46 teams signed up to play from 8U to 15U and will be played at the Cluster Springs fields, the Day Complex and Scottsburg fields to accommodate the teams.

The King of the Diamond the following weekend has 20 teams signed up to play so far and will take place at the Day Complex.

The parking lots were full and the tents were up for the parents and family members who were on hand to watch the tournament over the weekend at Cluster Springs. Temperatures soared into the low 90s with the humidity making it feel like it was close to triple digits.

Spectators looked for the little bit of shade across the park to huddle under during a few minutes of down time to try and cool off the best they could.

Battery-operated fans were in the dugouts as well as in the stands. The metal bleachers were empty as families brought their own tents and chairs to avoid the scalding hot and sun soaked stands.

Players at times sluggishly walked on and off the fields as the grind of the games that began at 10 a.m. Saturday and finished around 8 p.m. took over. Sweat dripped off of the players as they battled on the field and sweat soaked shirts were seen by everyone in attendance.

Regardless of the conditions it was an event that was welcomed by locals and those traveling several hours to attend. For the locals, it was a jump back in time to where the Cluster Springs ballpark was filled multiple times a week and for those traveling to the park, they were just happy to be able to play baseball again.

Johnathan Kirland is a sports writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him Follow him on Twitter @JohnathanK_GV