Cy-Fair baseball players give back at Special Olympics tournament

November 22, 2015

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Cy-Fair High School baseball players (L-R) Dylan Higgins, Blake Wilson and Zach Mendizabal speak with a Special Olympics volleyball player from Pasadena at a tournament at the Willowbrook Sports Complex on Nov. 21.

Nov. 22, 2015—Twenty-five Cy-Fair High School baseball players kicked off their Thanksgiving break on Nov. 21 by giving back to the Special Olympics of Texas, volunteering at the Area 4 Volleyball Tournament at the Willowbrook Sports Complex.

The Bobcat players worked the tournament by officiating, keeping statistics, cheering and scrimmaging tournament competitors throughout the day.

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A group of Cy-Fair baseball players gathers before the opening ceremonies of the Special Olympics volleyball tournament at the Willowbrook Sports Complex on Nov. 21.

“It’s pretty cool that they can overcome anything to come out here and play volleyball,” Bobcats senior Tanner White said of the participants. “This is awesome for us to come out here as a team and all become a family again before the season starts.”

The volunteer effort was the Bobcats’ second collaboration with the Special Olympics of Texas in less than a year. Cy-Fair hosted and served at a basketball tournament in March.

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Cy-Fair High School senior Tanner White volunteers as an official at the Special Olympics volleyball tournament on Nov. 21.

Cy-Fair PACE teacher and baseball parent Karen Lutz helped organize both service projects, encouraging volunteer hours for the student athletes.

“Last year I proposed it to Coach [Paul] Orlando and he was so excited about it. We had a great turnout and it was a great way to have team bonding,” Lutz said. “He said he wanted us to do something again this year, and this was a great weekend because [Special Olympics] needed a lot of volunteers.”

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Cy-Fair baseball player Dylan Higgins warms up with some of the Special Olympics competitors at the Nov. 21 tournament.

Players like junior Zach Mendizabal who served at the basketball tournament jumped at the chance to help out.

“It was awesome to see some familiar faces from that tournament, and it makes you feel good about yourself when they remember you and ask to play volleyball against you,” Mendizabal said. “This really shows a lot about the program and the character of this team. We want to give back to the community and be a part of something bigger than ourselves.”

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Cy-Fair senior Beau Orlando serves as a line judge at the Special Olympics volleyball tournament on Nov. 21.

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Cy-Fair senior Hayden Wesneski volunteers as a line judge at the Special Olympics volleyball tournament at the Willowbrook Sports Complex. 

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