Danny Gershwin has been coaching softball for 25+ years in Atlanta. He has coached numerous NYO teams in addition to countless travel and All Star teams. This summer he is coaching NYO’s high school travel team, the Patriots.
This past Saturday at a tournament at Terrell Mill Park in Marietta, Danny experienced two firsts.
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Even as a hard rain fell, David Bickers and his Southern Exposures landscape crew were hard at work preparing the NYO fields for Opening Day ceremonies. Baselines and batters boxes needed to be chalked, infields smoothed and treated with a drying agent to absorb the moisture. Rare is the day that a mere shower cancels NYO games. It's a routine David and his guys follow seven days a week from mid-March to late May when baseball and softball return to the Chastain fields. On Saturdays and Sundays, when games begin early, field preparation can start before sun-up.
But this day would be special. One of the highest honors NYO bestows is to ask someone special to throw out the first pitch on Opening Day. This year, David and six members of his crew were afforded that honor. As they lined up at the mound of the Jane Wilkins Bronco field, the seven men eyed the young catchers to whom they would throw. For David Bickers, who grew up playing NYO baseball and whose sons have followed his lead, it marked the first time he had pitched on the field since 1982. He threw a strike. With that, Opening Day ceremonies concluded. And David and his crew headed back to their equipment to insure NYO's fields remained among the very best of any youth recreational program in the country.
Both teams came out of the break on a rampage. George Adams caught fire from deep for the Hawks, while Payne and Parker Battin dominated down low for the Bulls. Heading into the fourth, the Bulls maintained their lead, up 56-53.
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The X-League Tar Heels capped an impressive season by ruining away from the Vols 64-49 in the X League Championship at NYO last Thursday night. The Tar Heels total team effort was led by Ford Stratton’s 19 points and stellar defense as they broke open a close game at the half and outscored the Vols 19-7 in the 3rd quarter to take control of the game.
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Over Martin Luther King Weekend, several NYO girls’ basketball players accepted an opportunity to play in an MLK hoops tournament sponsored by the Atlanta Hawks. This opportunity all started when Senior Director of Basketball Programs for the Atlanta Hawks, Jon Babul made a call to NYO Executive Director, Tony Watkins on Wednesday, January 11.
“Jon called us in a bind," said Watkins. "The tournament just had a team drop out, and he wanted to know if NYO could quickly put a team together to play in the event.” (Click Title to Read More)