BC helps two former little leaguers move on to college

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 2, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Out on the Bennett’s Creek Little League baseball and softball fields, hundreds of children have learned to throw a curve ball. They’re schooled on how to stop a grounder, or track down a line drive. They’re taught to dribble a bunt up the third-base line, or drop a bloop single just beyond the shortstop’s glove.

But there’s much more to little league than that. There are things like learning to work with others as a team. Things like always doing your best. Things like keeping your head up after a loss, and following the rules.

Email newsletter signup

These are lessons that players like Ali Mowry and Hunter South took from their time at the Driver Elementary School facilities. These teachings just won the two Nansemond River (NR) High School students a pair of college scholarships.

&uot;I played out here for about 10 years,&uot; Mowry said, gazing over the fields. &uot;I started in tee ball, and then moved up through minor and major league softball.&uot; An All-Star in every league, Mowry helped the Monarchs to a pair of major softball titles.

&uot;I played shortstop, outfield, but mostly catcher,&uot; she said. Her skills behind the plate helped Mowry play four seasons of varsity softball at NR, during which she made All-District honors (she also made the district and region’s top team in field hockey).

South didn’t stay quite as long. &uot;I was here for about four years, and then I went into water sports,&uot; he said. &uot;There’s no particular reason why I stopped.&uot; He became part of NR’s BETA Club, Key Club, Operation Smile and Band, and is the yearbook editor.

A few months ago, Mowry and South decided to apply for Bennett’s Creek’s Stewart/Bagley Scholarship, which is given in honor of late former players Shane Stewart and David Bagley. The scholarship was established in 2000 to help the league’s former stars move up from high school.

The scholarship required them to write an essay detailing what BC had taught them on and off the field. &uot;I wrote about things like community service and learning to share,&uot; South said, &uot;but mostly teamwork. This was the first place outside of school that I was around kids my age.&uot;

&uot;I’d been involved with the league for so long that I thought I had a good shot,&uot; Mowry said. &uot;I wrote about learning commitment, discipline and determination, stuff that I can use throughout my life.&uot;

It worked; at the school’s Senior Awards Banquet last week, the pair found that they had each received the scholarship. &uot;The main thing on why we chose both of them dealt with what playing in the league had taught them,&uot; said David’s father Louis. &uot;They related the winning and losing to life itself, and how it helped them with their experiences in school. How to give and take, how to share; those were the qualities in their essays that really spoke to us.&uot;

Mowry plans to use her gift at Radford University, where she’ll study exercise science and sports medicine (that is, between field hockey games!).

Living up to his name, South is heading south for school; he’s going to Elon University in North Carolina. &uot;I’d heard a lot about it, and when I went down there, their campus was awesome. They had really small classes.&uot; He plans to major in mechanical engineering.