Hon­our through sports

Event hon­ours mem­ory of lo­cal ath­lete

Advertiser (Grand Falls) - - Front Page -

Fam­ily mem­bers and friends came to­gether again this past week­end in Bot­wood for a soft­ball tour­na­ment to hon­our the mem­ory of Bill Roberts.

With an 11-10 score, Nobles Tim­br­mart edged out Peter­view to clinch the 2017 Bill Roberts Me­mo­rial soft­ball tour­na­ment this past week­end in Bot­wood.

The 2017 Bill Roberts Me­mo­rial Soft­ball tour­na­ment is in its 25th year and is the fi­nal tour­na­ment to a last­ing legacy of a man and his fam­ily’s ded­i­ca­tion to keep his mem­ory alive and do some good, for not only Bot­wood but the sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties with the pro­ceeds of the yearly tour­na­ment.

Bill Roberts was one of many in his large fam­ily to play var­i­ous sum­mer and win­ter sports. In 1977 Roberts was awarded the male ath­lete of the year.

On Satur­day, July 15, 2017 Roberts would have turned 58 if he had not been killed by a drunk driver 25 years ago. Robert’s friends and fam­ily thought about how they could do a project to re­mem­ber him. The idea came about for a soft­ball tour­na­ment to honor Roberts and raise funds for a high school schol­ar­ship in his mem­ory.

Af­ter a num­ber of years the schol­ar­ship fund be­came self­suf­fi­cient to con­tinue on for years to come. Now or­ga­niz­ers had to de­cide — give up the tour­na­ment or con­tinue on and take the prof­its of the tour­na­ment and help more groups in Bot­wood and area.

As the tour­na­ment pro­gressed over the years, so did the play­ers want­ing to con­tinue to play and help lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions such as the Sea­port Skaters Fig­ure Skat­ing Club and the 21 Pre­server Sea Cadets — the two groups split­ting the prof­its of this year’s tour­na­ment which join a long list of groups that have ben­e­fited from the tour­na­ment.

The Boys and Girls Club, mi­nor hockey, play­ground com­mit­tee, fire depart­ment, the wish maker group, MADD — just to name a few groups who have put the funds to good use while re­mem­ber­ing Robert’s love of sports and his ded­i­ca­tion to his fam­ily as a brother, un­cle, fa­ther and son.

Roberts’ fam­ily de­cided as this was the sil­ver an­niver­sary for the tour­na­ment, it would be the last time the fam­ily and friends would gather on the field named in his honor and play ball. Bill Robert’s brother Harve Roberts was em­cee for the open­ing and clos­ing cer­e­monies at the Bill Roberts Me­mo­rial Soft­ball field, for­merly known as the up­per field. Harve wel­comed and in­tro­duced the Roberts fam­ily ex­tend­ing from home plate down the third base line and be­yond

Mayor Scott Sce­viour re­mem­bered play­ing with Bill’s nephew Brad El­liott and see­ing the Ju­nior Blades play­ing in the sta­dium and Bill’s slap shot, which was le­gendary.

MHA Jerry Dean, dur­ing his greet­ings pointed out that not only as MHA, former Mayor but also as a former player with Bill on the Jr. Blades, sto­ries of Bill’s ded­i­ca­tion and abil­i­ties on the ice and ball field and how his name was talked about by many — not only in Bot­wood but all over the province.

Dean also pre­sented the Roberts Fam­ily with a cer­tifi­cate of ap­pre­ci­a­tion on be­half of the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment for the years of ded­i­ca­tion and work mak­ing the schol­ar­ship funds a last­ing mem­ory and the other groups they sup­ported over the last 25 years.

The cham­pi­onship game was a close one and came down to the last bats for No­ble’s, who had to get one run to tie and another to win.

The teams all gath­ered at the Kin Cen­tre for the clos­ing awards. 5 O’clock Some­where were voted the best sports minded team.

The Home Run King was won by Mike Tay­lor of Peter­view with six home runs dur­ing the reg­u­lar round-robin play.

DARREN MILLS PHO­TOS/SPE­CIAL TO THE AD­VER­TISER

The 2017 Bill Roberts Me­mo­rial Soft­ball champs in no par­tic­u­lar or­der in­clude Keith No­ble Cap­tain, Jer Don­ahue, Daryl Robin­son, Quincy An­drews, Cody Caines, Sherm McKay, Jor­don Snow, Nick New­man, Ken Burt, Travis Cham­pion and Ivan Bridger.

The Most Sports Minded team award was pre­sented to 5 O’clock some­where. The award is pre­sented by Whites Con­ve­nience — for­merly Gills Sports store. Pic­tured are 5 O’clock Some­where team rep­re­sen­ta­tive Travis Cur­tis (left) and Whites store rep­re­sen­ta­tive Brady White.

Nobles team play­ers chas­ing the pop fly ball to cut the run rally of team Peter­view in the fi­nals.

Peter­view player Tom Budgell keep­ing his eyes on the ball to find his sweet spot to hit the ball deep in the out­field.

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