The Surry Knights Baseball team is giving back to the community by mentoring local Cal Ripken Youth League teams. The Knights visit the practices and sometimes games of the community’s youth league baseball teams.
Hunter Sherrill is the Student Government Association Vice President at SCC. He is also a Surry Knights baseball player, and the originator of the volunteer program. He stated, “Our goal is to have fun with the kids and give them tips on baseball.”
Sherrill will be graduating from Surry Community College this semester with an Associate in Arts degree, but the Mooresville native will not be leaving for long. He plans to return next year to gain a teaching certificate. He also plans to transfer to a university to eventually gain a Masters in Sports Management. Sherrill hopes to someday work at Surry Community College.
“The Surry baseball team is a tremendous help for many local youth teams. They have not just worked with my teams, but gone around the county to assist many teams in Elkin and Mount Airy as well. Having their help is wonderful, but their ability to serve as role models to these youth players is the best part,” said Alan Unsworth, Dean of Instructional Support at SCC and the fall coach of Dobson Yankees baseball team and a Dobson youth basketball team coach.
Unsworth continued, “The Surry players act like true positive role models for the younger players, and they are helping these kids feel like they belong, like they matter, and that can lead to the kids continuing to play the game. These efforts also stick with a young player and the parents of that player, leading them to think positively about Surry Community College in general and know that we are thereto serve the entire local community.”
Sherrill attended about four practices per week in the fall semester and has said that, “My personal favorite part of the program is how the kids look up to us and the impact we can have on them with just teaching them some baseball tips.”
“The coaches really appreciated the help, and our kids looked forward to these sessions so much. It was great for them to have some sports-related role models that they could really talk to and listen to. The players were fun and patient with the kids,” said Mecca Lowe, Instructor at SCC and parent of a youth league baseball player.
Surry Community College’s sports department and Surry Knights have also been asked by Dobson Elementary to come and visit their basketball practices.
“Surry baseball players almost always have an extensive sports history, and the ones that come out to practice also played basketball growing up. Some of them played at a high level in high school and with travel teams. Having their help makes practice so much better for everyone because there are so many more people directly talking and working with players,” said Unsworth.
The Surry Knights baseball team also had time to host a Slugfest, before the Spooktacular, in October. The team took to the field to play an informal game in costume. Sherrill said, “We had a pitching machine set up so the people in the stands could have fun watching all the silly stuff we were doing.” The impact of the Surry Knights baseball team is felt throughout the community with coaches, parents, and players.
“Our community is so fortunate to have such a giving and talented group of young men that are willing to give their time and efforts to help young boys, just like my own. It is so very heartwarming to see such an incredibly kind and giving group of young men that had only hoped to help the youth become better athletes; it ended up becoming something that goes so far beyond just a lesson in sports. It is refreshing to see kids looking up to every day, ordinary people that are successfully doing what they love and helping others along the way,” stated Brittany King, Student Services Coordinator and parent of a youth league team player.
King would especially like to acknowledge the efforts of Hunter Sherrill. “He set a personal goal early on in the year to increase engagement with Surry’s Athletics and the community, and I am so very proud to say he has surpassed this goal. The connections and involvement Hunter has made will have long lasting impacts on these kids. Not only is SCC proud of Hunter for his athletic abilities, but more importantly, for his heart and willingness to help others.”
This outreach program is one of many steps taken by Surry Community College to give back to the community that it calls home. To learn more about Surry Athletics, visit www.surryknights.com.
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