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Scott on Sports

by Scott Lowery
Teammates
 

Bear with me this week, it’s personal.
Since as far back as I can remember, and especially since that very first Major League Baseball game my Dad took me to, I have always enjoyed team sports. On that memorable day when Dad let me purchase a Chicago White Sox felt pennant (I knew nothing about the White Sox, but loved the way their logo looked) my enjoyment of sports has come from following the various teams of my preference.
As a Little Leaguer, I loved being on the field with the other kids, learning the game and sharing the experience. The wins were great and the losses were easier to accept since your buddies were there with you. High school sports were the same. None of the teams I played on ever won a championship, but the memories are still there. A high school teammate was my best man at our wedding and one of my coaches — the beloved Bill Byham, would become a lifelong friend.
After high school my attempt to walk on to the University of Houston baseball team lasted until the final cut when I screwed up a base running drill and was sent packing. I’ve never forgotten that drill and have always stressed the importance of base running to the various teams I have coached since then. While in Texas I had a more positive experience as a first baseman on the Hillcroft Bombers, a slow-pitch softball team that went on to win a Texas State title. One of my teammates was Johnny Baker — at the time a Houston Oilers linebacker.
While serving in the Air Force, I played first base for a team at Loring Air Force Base that captured a state title in Maine. The team went on to play in the ASA New England fast-pitch championships where we were humbled by the Raybestos Cardinals. The famed team out of Stratford, CT won six ASA national titles during their 1955-1976 heydays.
Returning home from the service, I enjoyed a 20-year+ experience in the City Fast Pitch softball league that included two opportunities to play against the legendary Eddie Feigner’s King & His Court traveling four-man team.
The importance of team and working together to reach a common goal has always been the centerpiece of my life. I’ve loved the opportunities to coach 22 years of Little League Baseball, 16 years of high school baseball and look forward to the upcoming basketball season, which will be my 31st year leading junior high teams at South Williamsport. Most all of those experiences have been enjoyable and positive with a few downers encountered along the way.
Later this summer, one of my favorite teams will gather to again broadcast this year’s Little League Baseball World Series. Without Bill Byham we will feel the loss but he will be in the thoughts of Ken Sawyer, Gary Chrisman, Mike Fogarty, Tom Speicher and I as we describe the action all of us love.
My sports experiences have indeed been memorable but the teammates I will be losing at the end of this month will always be most valuable players in my book. You may not know what team Deb Machamer, Sue Gilliland, Carolyn Hawk and Krista Storm are on, but thousands of Lycoming County residents are better off because of their talents. These four wonderful, talented women have been my daily work companions for many years for our Lycoming County United Way team.
My 30-year run with the Lycoming County United Way comes to an end June 30 with my retirement as the organization’s Executive Director. Deb, Sue, Carolyn and Krista will be missed as much as any teammates I have had over the years. I have no idea as to what successes they may have had over the years swinging a bat or shooting a basket, but they all score big when it comes to helping others.
When I joined the United Way team as a volunteer back in 1987 I really had no clue what the organization was all about. As retirement beckons I often think, how did all this happen? I never expected this very important and fulfilling work would be a part of my life. In the 30 years that it has been I have been blessed by the work that we have accomplished together, the lives we’ve helped positively change and the wonderful professionals and volunteers that have become such an important part of my life.
I would love to name them all. While that is impossible due to both space and a memory that would surely forget some, I am appreciative of all who have helped us raise the needed funds that help provide so many vital human services to so many of our friends and neighbors facing life’s difficult times.
Achieving something together is what teamwork is all about. You’ve all done it and remember those teammates that helped you pull the load. Deb, Sue, Carolyn and Krista have done it for me. I wish them, the United Way and Ron Frick, who will succeed me in the leadership position, continued success with this very important community mission.
My sincere THANK YOU, goes out to all those who have reached out with your thoughts and best wishes. I’ll continue to visit with you via this weekly space and I’m sure our paths will cross as we follow the exploits of all those teammates wearing the colors of their local teams.

 
 
 
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