Bridgeland athletes volunteer at special needs baseball tournament

December 11, 2018

Bridgeland High School baseball players, from left, Luke Walston, Walter Wiener and Brock Shoffner encourage a batter during the “Fairfield of Dreams” special needs baseball tournament at the Fairfield baseball complex on Dec. 1.
Bridgeland High School baseball players, from left, Luke Walston, Walter Wiener and Brock Shoffner encourage a batter during the “Fairfield of Dreams” special needs baseball tournament at the Fairfield baseball complex on Dec. 1. 

Dec. 11, 2018—Aligning with their team commitment to service and the athletic department’s “Community Impact” initiative, members of the Bridgeland High School baseball team volunteered at the inaugural special needs baseball tournament in the Fairfield community on Dec. 1.

More than 20 Bridgeland athletes and coaches attended the event to assist and encourage athletes with special needs as they shared the sport they all love.

“Baseball is an awesome game. It brings people from all over the place with different backgrounds together,” said Taylor Phillips, junior baseball player. “This is a good experience for us to share with them while being humble and grateful for what we have.”

Bridgeland baseball players, from left, Justen Gabaldon, Liam Koleci and David Garcia cheer on a baserunner as he heads to second base during the special needs baseball tournament in Fairfield on Dec. 1.
Bridgeland baseball players, from left, Justen Gabaldon, Liam Koleci and David Garcia cheer on a baserunner as he heads to second base during the special needs baseball tournament in Fairfield on Dec. 1.

The tournament was an offshoot of the Miracle League program at the Langham Creek Family YMCA, which opened Houston’s first adaptive sports complex more than three years ago. Langham Creek YMCA board member Mack Hoehner was in attendance at the Fairfield event.

“A lot of the kids who play in the Miracle League program at Langham Creek are from this community of Fairfield. It gives everyone a chance to play baseball. Everyone’s invited to be a part of this special day,” Hoehner said. “There is nothing better than seeing a high school baseball team come out here. I couldn’t be more proud of Coach Paul Orlando for encouraging his team to be a part of this. They’re out here working with all the kids and you see the big smiles on their faces. They’re making it a special day for a lot of kids, that’s for sure.”

According to Orlando, the baseball program’s vision is built around five core values using the acronym BEARS (Brotherhood, Excellence, Accountability, Relentless and Selfless).

Bridgeland baseball coaches Cody Weatherly and Paul Orlando congratulate an athlete as he is about to score in the special needs baseball tournament on Dec. 1.
Bridgeland baseball coaches Cody Weatherly and Paul Orlando congratulate an athlete as he is about to score in the special needs baseball tournament on Dec. 1.

“[Assistant] Coach Cody Weatherly has done a tremendous job in helping teach and implement these core values in all of our players,” Orlando said. “There are so many things these kids can learn through athletics, and I believe being selfless is at the top. I am proud that we were able to have so many of our players serve in our community of Fairfield. Even though I am extremely proud of our kids for serving others, I am more proud of the impact they made by how they served.”

: The Bridgeland Bears baseball team gathers before dispersing to volunteer at the “Fairfield of Dreams” special needs baseball tournament on Dec. 1.
The Bridgeland Bears baseball team gathers before dispersing to volunteer at the “Fairfield of Dreams” special needs baseball tournament on Dec. 1.

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