Baseball is a sport where it’s perfectly acceptable to be a motivational speaker from the dugout. Players have each other’s backs. This “all together” mindset recently contributed to a show of support by virtually all of the Carroll County Cavalier eighth grade baseball team shaving their heads on behalf of “Wyatt the Warrior.”
Five members of this “Eighth Grade Army” as it’s unofficially known, related how the idea came about. For the record, they decided on some action to show the nine-year old diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia he wasn’t alone as he readied himself for Chemo treatments. They decided even before telling teammate Will Dalton, who is Wyatt’s brother.
Michael Combs said the team, from the start, wanted to do something and thought shaving their heads “was pretty cool.” Since Wyatt had to face the prospect of shaving his head before treatment, it was a natural thing for them to do likewise, in spite of what classmates might say. He said he felt it was something special that almost the entire team and its coaches lost their locks in support. Other players instrumental in organizing the show of support included Kalob Underwood, Brant Davidson, Jackson Hull and Will Dalton, who felt it was “a pretty big thing.”
Underwood said following through on the idea didn’t phase him at all because it was for a good cause. The five said some teammates’ family members stepped in to cut hair. Combs’s grandmother, Mary Ann, stepped up for duty through her business, the Magic Mirror Beauty Shop, at no charge.
The boys all agreed they were surprised by the large volume of positive comments, from fellow middle school students and teachers, praising their efforts.
Will Dalton said he had an idea of what was up, which was confirmed as Combs and others told him of their plans as they headed for the locker room after practice. Wyatt learned of the movement when he heard Will tell their mother about the plans.
Coach Steve Combs said the gesture was very much in character for the team, which also includes seventh grade students. He said the boys’ willingness to step forward has helped everyone involved. He said the team is holding a “BattingBash” with proceeds going to help Wyatt Dalton’s medical expenses as they continue their support.
BattingBash is being billed as an invitation to help Dalton “slam cancer out of the park.” It is scheduled for April 24 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at The Baseball Barn at 227 Industrial Park Drive in Hillsville. Those ages six and under may participate in the “Hurricane SkillDrill,” 10 swings for $1. Ages 7 years and older can pay $2 for a 10-pitch round (baseball and softball). Every time a ball is hit into the blue tarp a sponsor will donate money to Wyatt.
Hotdogs, drinks, chips, desserts, door prize tickets, raffle tickets and much more will be available for purchase. The drawing for raffle tickets will be drawn at the end of the benefit and the winner will be notified if not present. People may call (276) 266-0027 for donations or more information.
A benefit golf tournament for Dalton at Skyland Lakes Golf Club has been rescheduled for April 16 due to weather. The Captains Choice tourney will tee-off with a shot gun start at 9 a.m. The cost is $160 per team, $40 per person and includes 18-holes of golf and golf cart. Prizes for first place are $200 and second place prizes are $100. People may register by calling Sherry Tate at (276) 728-4923.
“Paint Night for Wyatt Dalton” is slated on April 21 at Victory Way Baptist Church in Hillsville. It will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The cost of $25 includes everything participants will need including food and drinks. Payment is required when reserving a seat by calling Dawn Osborne at (276) 728-0125. Seating is limited.
A Wyatt the Warrior Bingo has been scheduled for May 14 at Hillsville VFW Post 1115. Doors will open at 5 p.m. with games starting at 6 p.m. The cost is $20 for 20 games with kids packs for $10. A special bag for $30 includes 20 games, game card for each bonus game and five door prize tickets. Winners will receive prizes from Thirty One, Pampered Chef, Scentsy and more.
David Broyles may be reached at 276-779-4013 or on Twitter@CarrollNewsDave.