The Norman Transcript

Sports

June 17, 2013

Heartland Classic starts tonight with silent auction to benefit tornado victims

NORMAN — The 4th Annual Heartland Classic is on tap for next week in Moore and Norman. Organizers are excited about the new changes to the baseball tournament that used to be known as the Sun belt. Even if they came at the loss of one of the original teams.

The new format calls for  two tournaments going at once. A round-robin will take place June 18-20. The team with the best record will earn the round-robin championship.

June 21-22 the Heartland will turn into a double-elimination tournament with the championship game scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at Norman High School.

“With the loss of Team Arizona, it was difficult to find a replacement on short notice,” said tournament president, Sherri Rogers. “States that we contacted felt that they would need a full year to be able to fund a team’s travel to Oklahoma as well as deciding on how to select a team. As a board we decided to go with seven teams this year and changed the format to make this happen.”

The seven teams that will make up the tournament field include Team Oklahoma, Team Georgia, Team Colorado, Team Arkansas, Team Maryland, Team Ohio and Team Texas.

Team Arizona, one of the original members of the SunBelt when it was created, due to financial issues.

“Their baseball association met in December and decided that do to the rising costs of transporting a team to Oklahoma that they would step away from the tournament,” Rogers said. “This team traveled by air and with the rising costs of air fares and bags it was just too expensive for their organization to continue to fund.  We hated to lose them as they have always provided a strong competitive team and have always brought an outstanding group of young men year after year.  As for the rest of the field, they continue to remain committed to our tournament and have shown no indication that things will change.”

Each team is made up of top high school players from around its home states. One of those players who will be on Team Oklahoma is Southmoore’s Tre Edwards. It’s an honor he has been looking forward to for some time.

“I’m very excited,” Edwards said. “This is something I have been watching since I was three. I always told my family that I’d love to play in this. I found out about two weeks ago. I received a text message from Coach James.”

Edwards will be attending the University of Arkansas in the fall, where he will continue his baseball career on a full scholarship. He is one of many players who will move on to play baseball in college.

“I don’t know if people realize the quality of the talent on these teams as they are all Division I NCAA athletes who are going on to college and play ball as well as some will go on to play professionally,” Rogers said. “Also, we want people to come out as we have games going at three venues and it is free to attend.”

Before heading off to join the Razorbacks, being able to play for his home state one last time is a special treat for Edwards. Especially after all his home town of Moore has been through over the past month due to the May 20th tornado.

Several of the Heartland Classic games will be played at Southmoore High. When visiting team members ask him how his city is recovering, Edwards already knows what he plans to say.

“The city of Moore is more than just a community,” Edwards said. “ We are a family, if one gets knocked down we all get knocked down. We have done a lot in this short amount of time and ill be Moore strong forever.”

The opening ceremonies for the Classic start at 6 p.m. tonight at Southmoore High. A silent auction of sports memorabilia and other great items is taking place during the opening ceremonies and will run throughout the tournament. All proceeds raised will go to the athletes at Southmoore who had their homes destroyed in the recent tornados.

 "Funds raised will go to the high school athletic fund," Rogers said. "We have spoken with our teams coming to play and they are pitching in with auction items as well as Team Maryland and Team Ohio is bringing donation checks as their schools hosted fundraisers.  One of the assistant coaches for Maryland, Ty Whitaker helped organize a school supply campaign and teachers are driving to Oklahoma during the tournament to bring their donation.  Also, on Monday night during the Opening Ceremonies, all players in the tournament are going to be part of a special presentation for tornado victims."

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 5.49.44 AM.png Julian Wilson, Geneo Grissom take on more suitable roles for 2015 season

    Experience comes from encountering the same things in the same ways over and over again. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom and Julian Wilson have that at defensive end and nickleback in bunches....

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woodard joins successful soccer team in Stillwater

    Haley Woodard has been one of the preeminent multi-sport stars in the state for several years. The Norman North senior is a state champion in track and soccer and has been an integral part of a basketball team that’s been to back-to-back ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Smoke turns corner at Indy

    INDIANAPOLIS — Drivers always say there’s something magical about Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and the opportunity for NASCAR to race there opened the door for one of Jeff Gordon’s most treasured victories. It was a race Tony Stewart ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Roma tops Liverpool

    BOSTON — Marco Borriello scored in the 90th minute to give Roma a 1-0 victory over Liverpool in a preseason friendly Wednesday night at Fenway Park. There were limited chances until Borriello volleyed in a corner from in front of goal....

    July 24, 2014

  • Marcus Mariota helps Oregon’s PAC-12 title chance in preseason polls

    LOS ANGELES — Although Marcus Mariota knew he would be under a spotlight when he stepped onto the famed Paramount Studios lot Wednesday, the Oregon quarterback is getting quite comfortable in his starring role....

    July 24, 2014

  • Majka wins 16th stage, Nibali leads

    PLA D’ADET, France — On the last of four Pyrenees ascents, Rafal Majka winked at a French TV camera and tugged playfully at a motorcycle’s antenna....

    July 24, 2014

  • Aggie’s QB Chuckie Keeton talk dominates Mountain West media day

    LAS VEGAS — Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton got his junior season off to a superb start, only to have it derailed by a knee injury in Game 6....

    July 24, 2014

  • Heavily favored U.S. group faces off against world’s best female golfers

    OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The inaugural International Crown is unique for what it isn’t. Thirty-two elite players from eight countries will compete at Caves Valley Golf Club to determine which nation has the best women’s players in the world. ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Weir, DeLaet attempt to end 60-year Open drought

    MONTREAL — Mike Weir was well aware that it has been 60 years since a Canadian won the Canadian Open....

    July 24, 2014

  • NCAA infractions chair responds to ‘cheating pays’

    The chairman of the NCAA’s infractions committee says a number of factors could be the cause for the lack of activity by the group that prompted Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby to call the enforcement program “broken.”

    July 23, 2014

Facebook