The Bethany Bison Baseball team and the School of Bright Promise out of Jefferson County have formed an unlikely bond and that friendship was on full display as the baseball team hosted a double header this week against Grove City.
Coach Rick Carver first reached out to the School of Bright Promise several years ago and the relationship between the players and students has expanded ever since.
“School of Bright Promise is an awesome place, we went down there in the fall, kinda had a play day kind of thing with them, played kickball, throwing Frisbee’s around and then them coming around today, them running around the bases with them, playing whiffel ball, it’s a great way to build our team,” said Matt Cavanaugh, a sophomore catcher on the Bison.
The Bethany Bison have also built their team with what they believe is a little bit of good luck from the students at Bright Promise. Several players keep notes and cards written by the students with them on the field and in the dugout for inspiration and motivation.
“I think it’s wonderful that some of the Bethany players have been inspired by the students who attend the school of Bright Promise by carrying the cards that our kids and students have sent them,” said Michael Mehalik, the Superintendent of the Jefferson County Board of Developmental Disabilities. “It’s a real testament to their kids to see that kids with disabilities can accomplish, can be friends, and can be somebody that they can have a close relationship with.”
“It’s just sometimes you get down, baseball’s a tough game whenever you’re not going so well and you can just come in the dugout and see people who have it less fortunate than giving you stuff, helping you out, it’s just a real pick me up.,” said Cavanaugh.
The Bison next play on Friday as they host Westminster and they’ll have those notes and cards in their back pockets as they take the field.