UNION, Ky – They were days away from a lifetime of memories. The season couldn’t be quick enough for the senior eight of Ryle’s baseball team.
It never happened. COVID-19 has canceled the 2020 Raiders season.
“We got five innings of a scrimmage, we were supposed to start this Monday and it was over,” said Ryle baseball head coach Joe Aylor. “Collecting the swimsuits that they couldn’t wear, just seeing the psychological effect on them. They couldn’t finish what they had started. “
The freshman varsity head coach didn’t want his first senior class to bury his feelings. He had another idea.
As the pitch was being renovated, the eight seniors all signed their names on a ball which was then buried under the plate.
“It was a way to let off steam after losing their season. Still connected to the program, ”said Aylor.
“As I walk away from that day it’s cool to watch home plate and all of us seniors have to bury a ball under the plate and we’re still going to be part of the pitch and schedule each other,” David Kennicott, l one of those eight seniors mentioned.
This funeral act was not all. Aylor, or rather her father, was instrumental in giving the Eight a lifelong connection to the program.
Aylor’s father is a school cafeteria worker and ordered a plaque commemorating the Seasonal Elderly for the Seniors.
“We’re part of every point scored and it’s special,” said Alex Pergram, another senior graduate. “I’m glad our coach gave us the opportunity to be a part of Ryle in addition to high school.
A tweet from the Ryle baseball account showing the plaque has gone viral – over 44,000 people ‘liked’ the tweet.
These eight players may be gone, but they will never be forgotten.
“It’s a testament to what was missed by canceling the season,” said Aylor. “I think it’s just a season, but it’s a lot more than that when it comes to kids.”