Youth Baseball League President Makes Multi-Generational Memories

by | Dec 2023

IN THE heart of Timberlake Township, hundreds of young athletes and their parents eagerly await February, when registration for Timberlake Dixie Youth Baseball League opens. They’re preparing to spend all spring perfecting their pitch and practicing sportsmanship in the dugouts. 

Behind it all, there’s a man who’s been serving more than just delicious chicken biscuits for the past 30 years. 

Dwayne Marshall, the dedicated owner of a Chick-fil-A franchise, acts as a cornerstone for the Timberlake Dixie Youth Baseball League. 

Marshall isn’t just the president of the Timberlake Dixie Youth League; he’s a dad, a grandpa, and a boss to many. He grew up in and around the Lynchburg area. 

“I basically played Dixie Youth Baseball my whole life, through school and everything,” Marshall said. “I remember the coaches, and I remember the good memories and the good times, and I just want to pay it back that way.” 

A professional race car driver for over 40 years, Marshall spent a lot of early adulthood traveling and away from family. But once he became a dad, he returned to the field. 

“When I became a dad and had sons, as soon as they got old enough to play, I started coaching their teams,” he said. “Naturally, when my kids were playing, I got involved because they were playing, and I wanted to have more of a hands-on role, cutting grass and making decisions for the betterment of the league as a board member.” 

So Marshall became a board member for the Timberlake Dixie Youth in 1994. Marshall remained while his sons graduated and stopped playing for Timberlake Dixie 12 years ago. 

He has now been part of the league’s leadership for almost 30 years, and he’s currently serving as league president and the district’s director of umpires. 

“Now my grandsons and granddaughters are coming through the program, so I’ll be there for a while,” Marshall said. 

With four grandsons and two granddaughters, baseball has become more than a sport for Marshall; it’s a family tradition. 

“I’ll be honest with you,” he said, “I find the energy when I look into my grandkids’ eyes. That’s all I need.” 

With around 400 young athletes playing on 25 to 30 baseball and softball teams a year, the volunteers at Timberlake Dixie stay busy. Some days, Marshall is out grooming one of their seven fields (which are not maintained by the city or county, just volunteers). Other days, he organizes umpires, prepares for board meetings, and talks to parents. He said his board members and fellow volunteers do a good job pitching in. Regardless, being league president is no joke. 

“So obviously, you get up and go to work in the morning,” he said of his busy schedule. “Hopefully, you have an hour or two each afternoon to get something done at the ballpark. I’ve got good board members, and they’re quick to step up and volunteer, just as I do, to make sure that the kids have a good place, a well-maintained ballpark.” 

But for Marshall, it’s a labor of love and a multi-generational commitment. As a Chick-fil-A store owner, Marshall said he knows how valuable it is to be visible as a helpful and involved member of the Lynchburg community. 

“It is my way of giving back and serving in the community,” he said. “They’ve been good to me.” 

Currently, four of Marshall’s grandkids — the ones who are old enough — are involved in the Dixie Youth Baseball program. And for Marshall, that’s the whole point. That means parents and grandparents in Central Virginia can have more peace of mind knowing Lynchburg kids are stepping up to the pitch rather than getting into trouble. 

“In the world we’re living in now, I want to feel like on Friday nights, instead of a kid being on the street, they have an opportunity to be on a baseball field,” he said. “Not just my kids, but all kids.” GN 

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