RACINE — This past weekend, family, friends and perfect strangers came from all over southern Ohio — and some as far away as Georgia — to gather in Racine.
They all met on the ball field, came together and played like old friends. There was laughter, there was yelling, and there were memories being made; all for one amazing cause: the Chase Roush Scholarship.
Fallon Roush, Chase’s mom, expressed gratitude for those who came out, whether they were a player or simply a fan. Anyone who showed up or helped in anyway is showing support and honoring Chase in a great way.
For Roush, it is a humbling experience every year to see the attendance of those near and far. Most everyone is in agreement they would not miss this event for the world.
One ball field was designated to the family of Chase Roush, and of course close friends, and newcomers to softball (recreational level). The other ball field was assigned to those who play most weekends (competitive level). Regardless of the field you step on, or which bleachers you chose, the reason for everyone’s attendance is resounding: it’s all for Chase and the scholarship.
This year, a new bracket was added — the teen coed tournament. While expectations for it was two teams, total; the turn out was better than expected with three teams of nine players.
Cole Steele, a friend of Chase, who also played basketball and travel ball with him, said he was there to play for Chase’s memory and just to have some fun. Everyone there, when asked, said the same: they were there to remember Chase and have fun doing something Chase loved to do.
Carrie Wickline came out to support the family and the scholarship and to play for Chase’s memory. Courtney Hill Ash, who graduated with Chase’s mom, came as a spectator. She supported her husband who played and wanted to help out with the scholarship. Zach Glaze said he was happy to be able to contribute to such a good cause.
While reasons varied a little, one thing is for certain: There was an overwhelming amount of love for Chase on and off the ballfield.
Chris Davis was a former coach to Chase who has attended the tournament every year, either playing on a team or helping by lending his umpiring skills to whichever field may need them. When asked why he comes, he stated, “It’s all for Chase. It’s for his memory.”
On the competitive side, teams like The Freaks and Balls and Dolls are regulars at softball tournaments. They are familiar faces at most every local benefit tournament. Both teams have attended the Chase Roush Live Action Adult Coed Tournament since its beginning. While they are obviously competing against one another, they both agreed on this: They were in it to keep Chase’s memory alive and to give toward the scholarship. Both considered it an honor to play and give to something that will further the community as a whole.
The Squirtle Squad, a newcomer to the tournament with a few veteran players, battled back from a large deficit and won the championship for the competitive side. They look forward to next year and hope for an even larger turnout to remember Chase and support the scholarship.
It’s very clear, this softball community is standing with Chase’s mom and are happy to help in growing this scholarship. Chase will never be just a memory. He will live on through this tournament and the scholarships that are afforded out of it.
Next year’s tournament may change in date to help accommodate fall ball schedules and fall sport schedules, in general. Roush said she wants everyone who would like to attend to be able to do so.