OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Great softball teams understand the meaning of sacrifice. In Overland Park, there is a group of talented teenagers that are giving to help others.
With or without a bat in hand, Blue Valley High’s softball team is making an impact.
The first time Tigers Coach Angela Maasen suggested her players could volunteer to help senior citizens, they weren’t sure.
Since last fall, the Tigers have become regulars at Prairie Elder Care, a series of homes designed to make Dementia patients feel as they’re at home.
“As we interacted with the residents there, the girls lit up,” Maasen said. “They got excited to participate. Just talking to them and getting to know them and their relationships and why they’re there and their past lives.”
The Tiger teammates used their own time. Doing yard work, helping with arts and crafts and making seniors feel special for the past six months.
“They were always happy when we talked through the doors,” Tigers pitcher Breck Dickey said. “It really brightens their day. It’s something different and to see that makes your heart feel good.”
Lisa Elliot at Prairie Elder Care said the players ended up loving it.
“They gave it their all. They hated to leave. We had players who wanted to stay longer than the allotted time,” Elliot said.
Now, those elders come to many of the Tigers games. Through Thursday, Blue Valley is 5-1 and ranked third in Class 6A and all the while showing that some things matter more than ballgames.