Honour through sports
Event honours memory of local athlete
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.
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.