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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Struck Strikes Out: Baseball Braves gain new fans

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Once again, the character, class, and caring of a Cherokee Washington High athletic team, its coaches, and fans has come to the fore.

Without going into a lot of detail, let's just say "our" Braves have greatly impressed the parents of a Hull Western Christian baseball player who was injured on a courageous attempt at a fly ball in Cherokee's recent baseball game in Hull.

Here, let the player's mom tell us about it:

"Dear Mr. Phipps (Cherokee activities director Neil Phipps) - Let me introduce ourselves. My name is Barb Pollema and my husband's name is Bryan. Our son, Josh, plays rght field for the (Hull) Western Christian baseball team.

"During our game with Cherokee last Friday night, Josh was running back for a long fly ball hit into deep right field. As he caught the ball, he also hit the fence full force and went crashing to the ground. He was knocked out for a minute and then went into shock. Tha ambulance had to be called, because they were unsure if he had seriously hurt his neck or head.

"Your coaches were one of the first people out to him, along with a lady fan who I'm assuming was either a nurse or medic or something. As I was running over to Josh, I happened to see the whole Cherokee team kneeling on one knee, facing out towards Josh, with the utmost respect and concern. The Cherokee coaches stayed out on the field with Josh, as well as our own coaches until the ambulance left.

"The CT scan showed later that night that everything was OK, and there were no broken bones or severe head trauma - just basically a whiplash and a concussion. We are so thankful for this!

"I was told in the emergency room that both teams gathered on the field with the umpires and, along with the fans, lifted up prayers on behalf of Josh after the game. This was deeply moving to both my husband and I, and I just wanted to express our sincere gratitude for this.

"You have an awesome baseball team, athletically, but from what we saw, it goes much deeper than that. The whole baseball program at Cherokee looks to us like one of high dignity and class. You have much to be proud of and again, we are so grateful for the prayers lifted up for Josh.

"Josh came home from the hospital at noon Saturday. He's been very sore, achey, and some nausea, but it seems like every 24 hours he's getting stronger. He's taking Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday off, and, hopefully will be ready to play on Thursday.

"He's the littlest guy on the team, but has a very big heart for baseball. Josh, along with Bryan and I and the rest of WC baseball wish your program the best the rest of the season.

"Could you please pass this along to your baseball coaches and players?

"Thank you for your time.

"In Christ,

Barb Pollema

Josh's mom."

Uh, coaches Scott Koch, Steve Sonka, and Jared Koch, and you Braves and their loyal fans, way to go. And Deb Johnson, the registered nurse from Cherokee who hurried to the scene as duty called, you're a special lady and your presence helped calm the fears of Josh's parents and the entire HWC team and fans.

Braves? You fill us with pride with your outstanding success, and with the style and class with which you play the great game of baseball.

And, let's all remember, Hull Western Christian plays in Cherokee Thursday July 5, in the #1 Braves final game of the regular season. Let's generate a huge crowd to cheer for the Braves, and also for Josh Pollema, that tough little Wolfpack right fielder brave enough to risk injury while putting team ahead of self.

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