NEWBERRY, S.C. - From demolishing houses to the haunted house, the Halloween week proved to be a busy one for the Newberry College baseball team as the scarlet and gray took time out of their schedules to serve the community.
Starting on Wednesday, the team provided the Haunted House for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee's "Halloween Haunted Hoops." The interactive haunted house invited children and adults alike to explore the mad scientist's lab, a cemetery and Dracula's lair. Those brave enough anxiously navigated the dark and fog as a band of ghouls and goblins banged doors, clanked chains and jumped out of coffins. The children were always relieved to exit, but also hurriedly got back in line to go through again.
On Thursday, the team helped with the Newberry County Memorial Hospital's "Safe Kids" trick-or-treating event by operating a fast pitch booth.
"The Safe Kids event was where we saw the most kids all week," said senior Jose Rosa of Gainesville, Fla. "It was good to see that many kids enjoy our sport and look up to us. I think we definitely created a bigger fan base within the community that night. We have quite a few Hispanic players on our team and there were a lot of Spanish-speaking children at this event. Now those kids know they have local athletes to look up to and I hope we'll see a lot more people from our community at the games from that event."
On Friday, the funniest event of the Newberry athletics calendar took place at the Smith Road Complex as the team hosted its annual Halloween game, where the players put on a softball game in full costume. Everyone from the Blue Man Group to Michael Jackson to Tiger Woods (with his caddy) and a deer hunting group made their appearance at the game.
The most unfortunate costume of the evening was displayed by junior Hunter Wynn, who was the deer that the hunting group was after. Wynn was hunted down on four occasions during the game with increasing theatrics each time. Wynn went 0-for-4 in the game, while the hunters pitched a perfect game.
"We have a blast dressing up for this game and sometimes making fun of each other," said Rosa, whose diminutive height was lampooned by Chris Roman. "I know the kids have a great time at the game trying to figure out which player is wearing each costume."
On Saturday, the players quit playing around for a bit and used their muscles to help Habitat For Humanity with some house demolition as the group prepared to build a house for a family.
"The Habitat for Humanity event was great team bonding for us," Rosa said. "I know we all felt good that we did something tangible for an under-privileged family in Newberry."
"The Halloween week was a very productive week for us in the community," said head coach Bob Rikeman. "Developing these relationships will not only help shine a more positive light on our student-athletes and the College, but hopefully will also increase support of our student-athletes at our events."
If you are interested in partnering with Newberry College Athletics on similar projects or any other community engagement activities please contact our External Operations offices at (803) 321-5247.