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The Gazette KCRG
Posted June 26, 2013
HIGH SCHOOL JOURNALISM: West Delaware swings for cure

Waterloo West Coach Kory Kelchen (left), a West Delaware alumn, and Hawks Coach Mike Morrison pose with their cancer awareness t-shirts before last week's game in Manchester. (Riley Cole photo/West Delaware senior)

Editor’s note: Here is your chance to tell your story about your team, your school or your favorite player. If you’d like to join The Gazette’s growing list of high school contributors, contact J.R. Ogden at jr.ogden@thegazette.com

By Riley Cole, West Delaware senior

MANCHESTER – The non-conference game between Waterloo West and West Delaware last week wasn’t your typical high school baseball game.

It was a cancer awareness game – Swingin’ For A Cure.

Nathan Wegmann goes low to hit a pitch from the Waterloo West pitcher. (Riley Cole photo/West Delaware senior)

Both teams incorporated pink into their uniforms. Waterloo West wore pink socks and West Delaware had pink tape around their wrists.

Both teams also used custom-painted pink, wooden bats during the game and then raffled them off after.

The night all started with a presentation by West Delaware alum and Waterloo West Coach Kory Kelchen and the Wahawk baseball team. Kelchen and the team presented a pink cancer bat and a Wahawks baseball t-shirt to West Delaware Coach Mike Morrison. Kelchen and the team thanked Morrison for being a West Delaware baseball coach for 21 years and influencing the game of baseball in Iowa.

As for the game itself, West Delaware came out on top, 7-1. Senior Dylan Foster pitched all seven innings, striking out four.

“Dylan had great command and composure on the mound,” Morrison said. “We played great defense behind him and worked out of any jams that we put ourselves in.”

Catcher Brett Lammers fires to second base to make a play. "It was pretty cool playing for a cause that we know affected lots of people," he said about the cancer awareness game. (Riley Cole photo/West Delaware senior)

The Hawks totaled eight hits.

“I was very pleased with our focus at the plate,” Morrison said.

This game had more meaning to the team because of the cause they were playing for.

“It was just an honor to play in a situation where I could help donate to cancer awareness since my sister and grandpa was diagnosed with cancer,” senior Tyler Africa said. “It was more than just playing baseball. We played with heart and played for our family and friends.”

While playing baseball and raising awareness, Morrison enjoyed giving back to the community in such a unique way.

“Participating in the cancer event gives a little more meaning to what we are doing,” Morrison said. “This was a great opportunity to give back.”

Even though the event was successful by selling cancer shirts, raffling off game bats and silent auction for  autographed bats, Morrison remains optimistic that the event could be even better.

“The atmosphere at the game was excellent,” Morrison said. “This is definitely something that we can build on and get even better.”

As his final season hits the halfway point, Morrison won’t forget playing in such a game like this one.

“Being involved in a game that is for a cause that is bigger than the game of baseball itself was a highlight for me,” he said.

The West Delaware players and coaches pose after the win over Waterloo West. (Riley Cole photo/West Delaware senior)

 

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