Cherry Park staff juggles thousands of orders this week

Rock Hill Parks and Recreation staff work concessions Monday at Cherry Park during the NSA Class A Girls Fastpitch World Series.
Rock Hill Parks and Recreation staff work concessions Monday at Cherry Park during the NSA Class A Girls Fastpitch World Series.

NSA Class A Girls Fastpitch World Series

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Preparing for a week of girls softball games at local parks is a big undertaking.

Keeping the players, parents and siblings fed while they're here is a whole other operation.

About 1,100 hot dogs, 420 hamburgers and 4,000 sodas were ordered for the concession stands at the three Rock Hill parks hosting NSA Class A Girls Fastpitch World Series games this week, said Sid Shillinglaw, concessions supervisor for the city's Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.

The supply might get them to Thursday, he said. Estimating the right amount can be tricky.

"The cooler it is, the more they eat," Shillinglaw said. "The hotter it is, the less they eat and the more they drink."

More than 300 teams from across the country are in the area this week for the NSA World Series, which is expected to bring an estimated 21,000 people for games in Rock Hill, York, Charlotte and Gastonia, N.C.

Most come hungry.

Shillinglaw said chili cheese fries, chicken tenders, burgers and hot dogs are the most popular items. The stands also sell large amounts of bottled water, Powerade and frozen Minute Maid, he said.

About 16 people work concessions at Cherry Park on a regular basis. Most are high school or college-age. About half of them worked the World Series lunch crowd on Monday.

Jessica Paprzycki, 21, got the job five years ago because she said she likes talking to people and she likes being outdoors. They're used to crowds that come for tournaments held throughout the season, she said.

The people that work there are tight-knit bunch, she said.

"We hang out just as much outside of work as we do at work," Paprzycki said.

Paprzycki joked that customers like to stick their heads through the concessions stand window to catch a blast of the stand's air conditioning. They didn't have the air conditioning the last time she worked the NSA World Series two years ago.

Seventeen-year-old Josh Thomas likes to talk to customers at the window.

"If I see they have on stuff for a sports team I like, I'll say something to them," he said.

Although these are the young faces you'll see when you step up to the window to place an order, it's Doris Davis, sitting behind a pair of swinging doors, who really runs the show.

The staff lovingly calls Davis "Ms. Doris." She's been working there for 15 years.

Davis handles the fryers of french fries, cheese sticks and chicken tenders. Beside her, there are pots of hamburgers and hot dogs. Buns line the shelf in front of her.

She's the one who handles the orders that pop out on paper tickets from a machine on the counter in front of her.

Despite the age gap between Davis and her co-workers, everyone likes to keep her company in the back room.

Davis talks to the employees about school and their families. She says she trained them all.

"We all get along good," she said.

Outside, R.O. McFadden serves up snow cones from a cart he shades with a large blue and white umbrella.

McFadden said he will sell about 1,000 snow cones this week.

Young boys like to walk around the backside of the cart and watch him shave the ice into cups and then pour the bright colored flavor syrups over the mountain of shavings.

How much for the icy treat?

"Two dollars," McFadden said. "And I'll even throw in a spoon."