Talon News - Good Local News

By Jessica Selph



August 18, 2017

Jessica Selph

Members of Team 550 Brewing, cheering on their team

It's a gorgeous Saturday morning. There is no reason pressing enough to remain inside. Get outside, do something, come with me to Riverside Park in Aztec. It's early but there's a crowd gathering. Something is happening. There's a cluster of not yet middle age men and women, little ones and even teens roaming the softball field in seemingly no particular order, looking intently to the ground, searching, careful on their feet. There is mumbling, some are laughing. There are tennis shoes and spandex, no hooded black robes. This can't be some sort of ritual. What is it? Vehicles begin to slow, gawkers come close. It takes a good 20 minutes to sort out the confusion.

"Jessicaaaaaa, Jessicaaaa. Has anybody seen Jessica?" It's what we'll hear multiple times during the day from a familiar voice, David Williams, of The Mission Continues. He wants to know what's taking so long. "Did we lose something?"

I nod my head yes. "Ryan lost his tooth on the home stretch. We can't find it and it's a veneer." I shouldn't repeat David's response.

Enter Ryan Lane, AHS alum, protector of justice and ice cream sundae virtuso. He's trying very hard not to laugh for fear of exposing the tooth gap. Talk of calling off the search begins and we finally hear the coveted "found it" from AHS freshman Caleb Olson. The proverbial needle in the haystack, Ryan's veneer, is found. Lane inspects his treasure, thanks his rescuer and pops that sucker right back in. Play on!

Nearly eighty members of our community jumped right back into action, as if the tournament had never paused. Gathered for a day of fundraising, these guys were itching to get moving. Teams had arrived early that morning, ready to play. The only thing lacking was coffee, a mistake that will not be made again. Someone had to chalk the field, then David handed everything to yours truly, and he was caller of the mound for the day. Finally ready to kick off at 8:30 am, four co-ed teams of at least 15 players battled for the cause in a classic Round Robin Kickball tournament. Families showed up with coolers and open tailgates. The game turned into a small community event that came together beautifully, much like a family reunion.

Chad Williams, another AHS alum, was our gracious commentator with quick wit and the ability to count backwards. Each inning required players to run bases in the opposite direction. "3rd is 1st, 2nd is 2nd and 3rd is 1st" he would announce during every other inning. It helped with some confusion but was certainly no cure. Spectators reveled in correcting their runner as they headed in the wrong direction. Coaches were able to buy a home run for ten dollars. Only two per game I believe. They were coached to wait until bases were loaded and buy smart, which is exactly what Lionel Valdez, coach of team Elite did. That move earned him four points and a win. Fans began purchasing runs for their favorite team. I wouldn't say the game could be bought, just think of it as a one up in Mario Bros. Plus one hundred percent of the proceeds goes to its intended purpose - bleachers for the field they were all playing on. Win win. Local dollars working in our local community.

All in all the day was epic. It was more of an adult field day. Great weather, laughter and a little competition. Families were supporting each other, taking selfies together and rooting each other on. We saw a lawyer arrested between second and third base for trying to run through a local police officer. Yet another AHS alum, Christian Waltermire, showed up in his Aztec Police uniform to play, so it's legal. There were many scrapes, slides and collides. Nicole Lane from Team Moose slid into the splits at home plate. After much discussion, she was deemed safe. Unfortunately there were a few injuries but the scars come with a great story. Here's to wishing those brave players a swift recovery.

Of course every tournament must have a winner and that plaque went to Team Elite. It was a family win for the Valdez team made up of dads, uncles, cousins, brothers and sisters. Premier Fitness enthusiasts Chad Magee and his family fought a good fight alongside the Paschall's, representing 550 Brewery. Sportsmanship goes to Team Moose who experienced the most obstacles.

There are just too many stories to mention in one article. Follow Operation Keep Aztec Beautiful on Facebook and view all the event photos. Let the excitement take hold. Donate your time if not your money. With so much bad news in circulation, let's prove to ourselves and our children that there's still good in this town. We can be the change. A wise proverb says that it is more blessed to give than to receive and clearly, many still agree. Although participants raised nearly one thousand dollars within 8 hours, not one person left with a dime of profit. The day garnered enough attention to spark a movement. What kind of movement, we don't know yet, but I'm on board. Talk of a Dodge Ball tournament has commenced so don't miss out. Leave your comments on the page, join us, Operation Keep Aztec Beautiful.

Some favorite quotes from Saturday's games are:

"It was so nice to see members of the community come together in fun for a good cause! Hopefully we can continue this and get even more involved." James Magee

"The arrest of an attorney between second and third base was classic! Great job Christian Waltermire!" Colby King

"The best part was seeing Lionel Valdez jump out of the dugout waving his money to buy a home run as soon as his bases were loaded." Bonnie and Bob Williams

Coming together is the beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success." Henry Ford as quoted by David Williams.

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