For those who are local to the Tri-State area, it is likely that most of you know the events surrounding Williamsport High School and most specifically the baseball team. For those of you beyond this area, let me review the main points.
The annual high school Prom was held on May 5th, and just after the event was over, a senior boy and girl were killed instantly in a tragic car accident. Both were popular kids and among the best athletes in the school – the boy being the best player on the baseball team.
The regular season for the team had ended that week with a record of 9-9. They were outscored in their final three games 31-3. After the accident, the team did not even practice for a week, but still won their first playoff game 22-0 with a no-hitter. Granted, the other team was not very good … but the story is just beginning…
The team kept winning games … all the way to the state championship finals. They held a 1-0 lead throughout most of the contest against an opponent with a record of 19-4. But the opposition scored late in the game to send it into extra innings. In the bottom of the 9th (the 2nd extra inning), the Williamsport boys won the game on a suicide squeeze bunt! If you’re not a baseball fan, this is a very rare and difficult maneuver to pull off and is a “do or die” strategy.
I have said to many that this is the stuff of which books are written. The tragedy, emotion, drama, etc… just an amazing story.
It has been an emotional several weeks at the school. I went in on that first day to just hang out and talk with kids – got to see and say something to most of my runners. I also spoke to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes group that week. And last night was the annual all-sport banquet – an emotional affair – but perhaps an event that put about as good a moment of closure upon the matter as could be made. Their coach is a really good young guy named David Warrenfeltz … who graduated from the school in Aaron’s class. He was also the high school catcher and close friend for California Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart – a fellow grad of that WHS glass of 2004 – who was killed by a drunk driver in 2009.
It is a painful awakening to teenagers to learn that not everyone is assured that they are going to get to play the whole game. The sad truth is that some don’t get out of the first quarter. The apparent unfairness of this drives some to reject God, though, the appropriate response is to run to Him, for there is no hope elsewhere.