From 10 a.m. on Saturday until the sun went down, about 60 teenage athletes competed in the first Tricia Martin Baseball Tournament as friends, families and supporters of the Martin family helped raise funds for the Tricia Martin Scholarship Fund, which will benefit a graduating senior pursuing a career in education.
Organizers of the two-day Tricia Martin Baseball Tournament said the late Milford Central Academy principal was looking down on the fields this weekend, as evidenced by the bright, sunny weather that echoed her personality.
“Tricia Martin was like a beacon of light,” said Rowland George, one of the event organizers.
While Martin wasn’t directly involved in baseball, George said her philosophies as a teacher and principal translate well to the lessons learned through sports.
“She was a leader who was always positive and tried to instill self-esteem and confidence, and that’s the carry over into athletics,” he said.
From 10 a.m. until the sun went down on Saturday, about 60 teenage athletes competed in the tournament at Milford High School, while friends, families and supporters of the Martin family contributed funds for the Tricia Martin Scholarship in the form of direct donations and proceeds from concession sales.
The sun continued to shine as the tournament came to a close Sunday.
Event organizers said the tournament was the perfect way to pay tribute to a woman who constantly encouraged her students to give their best effort in every endeavor.
“Tricia was a special kind of person. She was fun-loving and the kids loved her,” said Trisha Davis, Martin’s best friend of 20 years. “To be able to present a scholarship in memory of Tricia, I can’t even describe what it feels like.”
Thanks to the fundraising efforts, a $5,000 scholarship will be awarded to a 2015 graduating student athlete, male or female, who plans to pursue a career in education and has demonstrated a positive attitude and confidence throughout their high school career.
Martin’s mother, Shiela Garrow, was presented with a bouquet of flowers during the tournament, but Davis said the most important thing to Garrow was seeing the community’s support and respect for her late daughter.
“Her mom is just delighted that someone has taken the time and effort to hold Tricia’s memory true,” said the English teacher at Milford Central Academy, who helped organize the inaugural event along with academy librarian Diane George, and her husband Rowland.
The event was hosted by Rockies Pro Scout Baseball with the cooperation of the Milford School District Athletic Department. The tournament included more than 60 baseball players from throughout the state, including half a dozen Milford High School students.
Martin, was the principal at Milford Central Academy, when she was killed in a car crash near Frederica on April 11. Her 10-year-old daughter, Taryn, later died from injuries she sustained in the crash.
Martin’s close friends and family are still plagued by grief, but their ability to perpetuate the love Tricia had for her students through a scholarship fund has been an awesome experience, Davis said.
“Tricia’s mom was so excited that Tricia’s memory will be carried on by a student receiving money in her name to go into education,” she said. “We’re really looking for a student who’s going to major in education because that’s where her heart was.”
Although not all of the baseball players from the four teams knew Tricia Martin, they each knew their games meant more than taking home a trophy.
“It’s a good thing to help keep her memory alive,” said 16-year-old Holden Bradley, who will be a junior at Milford High School next year. “I feel like it’s good to give back to the community and help the graduating class next year.”
For 16-year-old Dante George, who had Tricia Martin as a teacher when he was younger, last weekend’s games combined his love of baseball with his respect for the former principal.
“She was just a great lady,” he said. “She made the principal look like a hero. I looked up to her so much.”
Diane George said the baseball tournament will become an annual event, and possibly include softball games in the future.
“The support we got from everybody who came out [last weekend] was wonderful,” she said. “Tricia was a positive person. She loved the students that came through her building. She would help anybody – parents, students, whoever came through the building. And that’s what we want her legacy to live on to be.”
For more information about the scholarship or to donate, contact Jennifer Tucker at Milford High School by calling 422-1610.
GAME 1 Delaware Rebels vs. Rockies Black: 8-3
GAME 2 Delaware Longhorns vs. Rockies Purple: 7-5
GAME 3 Delaware Longhorns vs. Delaware Rebels: 11-1
GAME 4 Rockies Purple vs. Rockies Black: 4-4
GAME 5 Rockies Purple vs. Delaware Rebels: 3-1
GAME 6 Delaware Longhorns vs. Rockies Black: 4-2
CHAMPIONSHIP Delaware Longhorns vs. Rockies Purple: 4-3
DELAWARE LONGHORNS 4-0
DELAWARE REBELS 1-2
ROCKIES PURPLE 1-2-1
ROCKIES BLACK 0-2-1