For The Glen scrapbook: Alma Edwards (right) and the Team (below)
The Glen Gophers are the new champions of the NW La. District Senior Olympics’ Residential Communities Bean Bags Baseball competition.
Forced by The Waterford into a winner-take-all second game in the championship matchup, the new champs won in extra innings, 22-17. The Waterford, which came back through the loser’s bracket, looked strong in dominating the first game, 17-7. The Gophers won the right to have their name engraved on the Marilyn and Dick Hainey Residential Communities Bean Bag Baseball plaque as the 2012 gold medalist with a clutch performance (click to enlarge team photo at right).
Afterwards, the team cited Reba Hering as a reason for their winning. “She kept us practicing and kept us together,” they chorused.
The Waterford finished as silver medalists and Live Oak won bronze. The finals were part of the NW LA District Senior Olympics opening ceremony and health fair in the Horseshoe Casino Riverdome.
The Astros had won seven previous gold medals in the district Residential Communities division.
With Alma Edwards, at 101 the oldest competitor ever to take part in a NW La. District activity, in the lineup, the Glen bounced the Live Oak Rookies, 27-15, as the tournament began at Bellaire Fitness Center on April 13. Meanwhile, the Waterford was pushing the Live Oak Astros into the losers bracket with a 27-15 decision.
The Glen went on to knock out Azalea Estates, 13-7, and then edged past the Waterford, 25-21, to go into the championship match unbeaten.
The Astros worked their way past Azalea Estates, 16-13, and then beat ther Screaming Eagles, representing the NW La. Veterans Home, 31-17. That left the Screaming Eagles in fourth place overall.
With their backs against the wall, the Astros jumped off fast in the game to determine the losers bracket survivor. Dan Allbritton contributed a grand slam homer as the Astros took a 6-0 lead over Waterfordf in the top of the first inning.
But Waterford bounced back with five runs of its own in the bottom of the inning and stretched out to a 17-9 edge by the midway point of the final inning. That was helped along by four RBI by Carolyn Biggs and a two-run triple by Deane Bennett. Albritton had another homer as the Astros tried one more comeback, cutting the difference to the final score of 17-15.
Mrs. Edwards missed last year’s tournament due to a broken hip, but said she was glad to get back to the three-times weekly practices of the Gophers after she rehabbed. She surpassed the late W.J. Cooksey, who played in the event when he was 100 in 2010.
Screaming Eagles, a team tha included mostly war veterans, got the warmest reception of any team as they finished fourth.
Tired but happy–Three of the hardest workers during the day were volunteers George and Sharon Boice and Bill Carrier, who help the contestants get ready to bat and officiated the event. ”This is great,” said George afterward. “It’s demanding, but I never felt more satisfied after a day’s work than when I volunteered to help out four years ago.” “Seeing the excitement of these players is why I do this,” said Carrier. “The smiles on their faces say more than any words I can come up about the event.”