They didn’t play in the gold medal game, but a Similkameen baseball team made a bigger impression at a weekend ball tournament in Kelowna than any victory on the diamond ever could.
The Kobau Koyotes were playing in the under 14 “Spring Sizzle,” a 16 team tournament that involved ball teams from all over the province.
During the final game for the bronze medal the Koyotes were playing the Port Coquitlam Ravens when one of the Ravens’ players sustained a knee injury.
“To say it was bad was an understatement, her screams could be heard through to the stands, wrote Kelly McLeod of Port Coquitlam, “several ball moms who were nurses rushed to the field trying to make her as comfortable as possible.
Both teams became increasingly upset as we waited at length for the ambulance. As she was taken away her team lined up in a show of solidarity so that she knew they were behind her.
Once the ambulance had taken her away our team was given the option of stopping the game or continuing the game. We allowed the girls to decide and they said they “would do it for Naola” (the player who was injured.)
The Ravens were losing the game, McLeod noted, adding that the game was too far along for them to have much liklihood of catching up.
“The girls played the game hard and finished out,” McLeod continued, “and when the teams lined up for the medal awards to the Kobau Koyotes, two exceptional things happened:
– The tournament director brought out a purple medal and noted that it was reserved for home runs. But what Naola just endured was bigger than any home run.
– As the first girl from the Koyotes received her medal, she walked directly up to one of my players, gave them her medal and a hug. This happened one by one.”
The spontaneous team gesture was highly emotional, as “all my girls were crying,” McLeod said.
“This show of solidarity rarely happens.” McLeod also called the team, “a class act.”
“We were so shocked by this amazing team.
These are times where girls of this age are capable of being so mean to each other (bullying), and when complete strangers come together to make such a statement of solidarity, it needs to be recognized,” McLeod concluded.