With the cancellation of the school baseball season and the athletics fields being locked down until July, there was little opportunity to recognize those players that would have been competing in their senior year. In a normal year, seniors are recognized prior to one of the last home games, so the Tyrone Golden Eagle Baseball Boosters set out to replicate that ceremony as well as the annual end of the season picnic, which celebrates all players. Once approval was obtained from the school district to use the fields and all required protective measures put in place, all players and families were invited to help celebrate Tyrone baseball on a hot July evening at the Harry K. Sickler Jr. Athletic Fields. The event began with the senior recognition program followed by an interscholastic scrimmage game that included players from grades 7 through 12, and a picnic dinner.
The ceremony, hosted by game manager Jim Domenick, introduced each senior and their parents or guardians. As the senior entered the field, walking along a line of orange and black uniforms formed by the underclassmen, his history as a Tyrone player was announced along with future plans and some words of advice for next year’s team.
“It was great to find a way to allow these seniors to end their high school career with their friends and playing baseball,” said head coach Kevin Soellner. “The scrimmage game was also a lot of fun and for all of the players, the first time they got to wear their Eagle uniform this entire year in a game.” The coaches presented each senior with a game bag of treats and a gift card created by Melissa Lewis and Melanie McKinney, a pillow made by Janet LeGars from that player’s old junior high jersey, a photo memory book created by Terri Shultz, and a plant to present to his mother or grandmother in attendance.
Seniors recognized included Cameron Brandt accompanied by Earl and Karen Brandt, Trevor Gority with parents Michele and Rick Gority, Kevin Lehner, son of Jean and Jay Lehner, Colson Lewis with parents Melissa and Steve Lewis, Nic Light accompanied by mother, Jenn, and father, BJ Light, and Michael Stoner with parents Chris and Steve Stoner. Absent were Matthew Savino, son of Bobbie Jo and Mark Savino and Christopher Wilkins, son of Carmella and Dave Wilkins.
The picnic meal was coordinated by Barb Seeger and Nina Barr, and included the presentation of the annual Team Adam Scholarship, presented in memory of Adam Fink. Coach Soellner announced this year’s winner by sharing the following comments from the scholarship letter: “This year’s recipient was described to Terry and Marie Fink as a quiet contributor with a loud bat. He is humble, kind, and a team player. He may not stand out in the headlines, but has made a huge impact getting the team to the Mountain League championship in 2019. He will continue his education and baseball career at Juniata College. This year’s Team Adam Scholarship goes to outfielder Colson Lewis.”
Cameron Brandt will also continue playing baseball at Pennsylvania College of Technology, and Kevin Lehner at Penn State Harrisburg. Trevor Gority will be attending Pittsburgh Technical College, Nic Light and Matthew Savino at Penn State Altoona, and Michael Stoner at Penn State University Park.
“I can’t say enough about this year’s group of seniors,” Soellner commented. “They began as that first group of junior high players in seventh grade and helped to bring this program to the place where we could win the Mountain League Championship last year. I want everyone to know how much I think of them. It’s more than just being on the field. I hope the lessons that you learned of how hard you worked to achieve something can be taken into everything you do: your marriage or job or opening a business or whatever you do you have to work super hard to be successful. So I hope you learned that lesson from baseball because that’s what’s most important. Your number will always be in my phone so call and come back to help us out when you can.”
Baseball booster president Steve Stoner added, “The baseball boosters would like to thank the school district and all of those parents, businesses, and fans that have supported this team over the years. It was great to see everyone on the field playing baseball tonight and we can’t wait to see what you do next season.”