By Jerob Moon- Sports Information
ROCK HILL- Sunday night was one of the more special nights of the season for the Piedmont Pride baseball team. The players met their Foster Families for the summer. The Pride Foster Family Ministry pairs players with local families to help give them a home away from home while they play baseball. For a number of these parents this presents an opportunity for their children to be mentored by these great young men. These families agree to support these players on and off the field as well as make a contribution to Kingsmen Baseball to help fund the expenses for the team during the summer.
“When I started this team two years ago, I was going to do it like every other team does it and provide host families for the players. I thought that would be the easiest thing to do,” Coach Joe Hudak explained. “The players were reporting in two weeks and I had three host families, 28 players and three host families wasn’t going to work. So I started the Foster Family Ministry, where families adopt a player or two for the summer.”
Sunday evening the families and Pride players came together at Sperry Van Ness in downtown Rock Hill to meet one another. All ten of the families adopted at least two players, five families took three players, and the High family took four players. Once all the players were assigned a family pizza was served and everyone had time to get to know each other.
Walking around you could see smiles from everyone, the players, the parents, and of course the kids who were excited to meet and become friends with players they looked up to. The Graham family, who have three children of their own, was excited for the opportunity of having their kids spend time with the Pride Players.
“We love to pour into young people and bring them into our home and love on them and care for them. With our kids still young it’s nice to have almost like older brothers come into the house and hang out with them.”
Over and over again parents would comment about how excited they were to support the Pride players and how much they loved the Christian aspect of Kingsmen Baseball.
Returner Zach Shank, who was adopted by the Sutton family, made a connection immediately. “I love them already, they are great genuine people. I want to be like an older brother to their son Xander, I want to mentor him.”
Jake Wright who was adopted by the Wood family along with outfielder Brian Wood sees the impact these families can have. “They are very nice, and I’m happy I was able to get to know them tonight. It’s a really good thing for players that are far from home for the summer. I’m only 20 minutes from home but I still feel a huge amount of support from them. It’s a great opportunity to meet new people and have a place to go for a home cooked meal.”
Many families are planning to have players come spend time at their houses for a variety of fun events such as pool parties and cookouts.
From all of us at Pride baseball we want to thank everyone involved with the Pride Foster Family Ministry. We couldn’t do it without you! If anyone wants to get involved contact Joe Hudak at email@example.com.