Cayden Moody will be making his first trip to the Show-Me STATE GAMES this year to play with his baseball team, the Midwest Titans. The Titans are an 8U team based out of Salem, Missouri, and Cayden usually plays in the pitching spot or outfield for the Titans.
Cayden has loved baseball since he was three years old and some of his instruction early on came from his grandfather, Andy Moody. Andy would often pick Cayden up from preschool and after eating a quick snack, they would go outside and hit wiffle balls for hours. All of this practice has turned Cayden into a pretty good switch hitter.
Cayden started playing on a city league team last year and loved every minute of it. He was asked to join a travel team and is now playing around four times a week. Even when him and his family get home from practices or games, Cayden always wants to go back outside and practice more.
Cayden will be a first grader at William Lynch Elementary this year. When he isn’t playing baseball, he enjoys fishing, swimming and golf. Cayden’s favorite professional team is the St. Louis Cardinals and his favorite player is Jon Jay. He loves learning about the Cardinals and the teams that they compete against.
The Titans face some pretty tough competition when they compete in 8U tournaments, but the boys all love getting out there and playing the game no matter what the outcome is. Cayden is really looking forward to playing at the games and said, “I am excited for the Show-Me games because I want to have fun and play lots of baseball.”
Cayden and his teammates will be in Columbia July 26-28 for their competition.
Sam Murphy, a member of the 14U St. Louis Bulls baseball team, first experienced a racing heartbeat in January of 2011. After experiencing a few more episodes, an echocardiogram was done in July of that same year. No medical problems were detected and Sam was thrilled to know that he was cleared to play sports. If he experienced an event he would calmly pull himself out of the game or practice until it went back to a normal rhythm.
Sam was free from episodes until September 2012 when they started to occur more frequently and would last longer. His heart wasn’t just racing on the baseball diamond, but in the classroom as well. He began wearing a heart monitor in October 2012 and it wasn’t until Sam was at a practice in January 2013 that the monitor finally diagnosed his racing heart as SVT (supraventricular tachycardia).
Sam underwent a cardiac ablation done April 2013 at Cardinal Glennon hospital in St. Louis. A catheter was inserted in the groin area and up to the heart where they “froze” the area of
the heart that was affected. The procedure lasted roughly five hours, but Sam recovered quickly. Within a week he was at practice and participated in a tournament the following weekend. Sam has had no episodes since and after seeing his cardiologist in June, he has been considered “cured”.
“I’m just so happy to be able to concentrate on playing baseball and not have to worry about my heart racing,” Sam said. “It was always in the back of my mind during a game. I always worried I’d have to pull myself out and rest. Now I just look forward to playing ball!”
Sam’s parents, coaches and teammates are happy to have a healthy Sam back on the field and are looking forward being a part of the Show-Me STATE GAMES this year.
The North County Indians have been competing in the Show-Me STATE GAMES since 2007. They compete in the 18+ division and most members of the team are in their mid to upper twenties. The Indians have had past success in the tournament, but it wasn’t until last year that they were able to advance to the final four. Unfortunately the Indians lost their first semifinal game to the eventual champions. However, the third place game they qualified to play in turned out to be a test of their perseverance and strength of heart.
In the summer of 2012, the Indians traveled to Columbia with 14 players. By the time their Sunday afternoon third place game rolled around, they were down to nine players. Each player was forced to play the entirety of the game, including Cody McGill, who threw over 120 pitches the day before. The Indians took an early 8-1 lead, but things started to fall apart when McGill threw out his arm when trying to make a play from the outfield. McGill was in a lot of pain, but stayed in the game.
The Indians took another hit when second basemen, Jerry Greenwood, got caught in a rundown, flipped over third base and dislocated his shoulder. Greenwoods’s shoulder was barely hanging on and the team thought about forfeiting. They eventually decided they had come to far to quit and kept playing.
By this time, the team was struggling. Greenwood was batting one handed and there was only one player in the outfield who could actually use his arm. Right after the other team tied the game at 10, things just worked out for the Indians. Justin Coliny led off the next half inning with a triple and Matt Pomerantz singled him home. After seven years, the Indians finally got their medal in walk off fashion.
The Indians hope to take their success from last year and bring it into this year’s tournament. The makeup of the team will be a little different, but their spirit remains strong. The Indians believe that if they could get through a game with only seven able bodied players last year, they have a chance to finish with a gold or silver medal this year.
Throughout his life, John Colon has tried to stay active and healthy. However, in 2011, his health took a turn for the worse. Starting in January, he began the year by having gall bladder removal surgery, which had stopped functioning. This surgery came with several subsequent surgeries to repair a bile duct, which incurred complications from the gall bladder surgery. John almost didn’t make it through this battle and took almost the entire year to recover.
Just when he thought he was in the clear, John had to have rotator cuff surgery in December of that same year. He spent the entirety of 2012 recovering from the surgeries in 2011 and says that these surgeries and his deteriorating health served as a wake up call to him. He needed to get back in shape and starting to swim again as the perfect way to do it.
John began swimming again at the end of January and much to his surprise he did well enough that in early February, he decided to go into training for the Senior Olympic circuit. In late March, he participated in his first competition, The Senior Olympic Games at Western Illinois University. Although there weren’t very many participants, John swam six events and won six first place ribbons.
At the end of May, he participated in his first major competition at the St Louis Senior Olympic Games. There were stronger athletes there, but John still did well. He swam five events and received three silver medals, one bronze medal and a fourth place ribbon.
John will be participating in the swimming competition of the Missouri State Senior Games during the last weekend of July. His current goal is to do well in Columbia, participate in the Illinois Senior Games and hopefully qualify for the National Senior Games in 2015. John has only been training since February and has had a lot of success. If he continues to train and his health stays strong, it is very possible for John to qualify.
Up until graduating college, Bryan Schwarz and his identical twin, Todd Schwarz, played on the same soccer team. The twins grew up in Columbus, Ohio and started playing soccer in second grade. They played all through elementary and high school and eventually ended up playing on the same club soccer team at Miami University of Ohio together. Bryan was always a forward and Todd always played defense.
Because of the distance and their busy careers in investment and law, the brothers don’t get to see each other very often. Soccer is usually what ends up bringing them together. Bryan has gone to play with Todd’s team in tournaments before. For the third year in a row, Todd will be flying into Columbia from Albuquerque, New Mexico to play with Bryan’s team, the Mythos Old Boys (M.O.B.), in the Show-Me STATE GAMES. In the 2012 games, M.O.B. finished in second place and are looking to be competitive again this year. The chemistry between the brothers and other teammates is what sets them apart from other teams. Although they don’t play together often anymore, playing together for so many years growing up has had a positive impact on their soccer careers.
Fourteen-year-old Kirsten Schrick has always been involved in some kind of “ball,” whether that be t-ball, softball, or just a friendly game of whiffle ball with friends. In third grade, softball went from just being a game to being my love. INSERT QUOTE ABOUT SOFTBALL. Kirsten worked hard to master the sport and the more she worked, the more dedicated, determined, and inspired she became.
In the midst of all of that, Kirsten was facing a constant physical pain. For many years, no one thought anything of it. The severity of her pain became an issue when one day when she limped out of SCHOOL NAME where she attends school, barely able to walk. Kirsten was taken to a doctor that told her that she had a rare condition by the name of tarsal coalition. The cure was a surgery that would remove an extra bone in each of her feet. She went through both surgeries, intense pain and an ample amount of physical therapy, but what no one noticed, was that the bones that the doctors removed were growing back.
Doctors were shocked by this and told Kirsten that she was no longer able to play sports. She was heartbroken until she realized that what the doctors were saying wasn’t impossible, not for her anyways. Instead of working against the pain, she worked with it, and realized that impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion.
She was beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it was blurred when this past year she was diagnosed with an eating disorder that had the potential to kill her. Yet another doctor told her that she couldn’t play the game that she loved. She’d beaten adversity before and she wanted to beat it again. Kirsten took the doctor’s orders as a dare, to show everyone that she was capable of doing the impossible. She was now driven. If something was hard for her to do, she would say to herself, “Do it for softball.”
Now, a year later, Kirsten likes to believe that softball got her through it all. Softball has always been her reason to fight and to try harder not just as a player, but also as an individual. Earlier this summer, she led her team as pitcher to the St. Louis CYC City County Championships. Kirsten plays for the TEAM NAME and will be competing in the 14U fast pitch softball competition.
Kristen is pictured third from the right in the middle row.
Peggy Buzzanga has always loved the game of softball and claims she “nearly lived on the ball field as a kid.” As an adult, Peggy coached and played on a women’s competitive slow pitch team and even played in the Show-Me STATE GAMES when she was younger. Her team competed in the game for five years and won two bronze medals and one gold medal.
After her playing career ended, Peggy coached her son through his baseball career and her daughter through her softball career. When they graduated high school, she thought she would retire from coaching and try to adjust to “sitting in the stands,” but when her granddaughter Macy was about 5 years old and asked Peggy to teach her to pitch, she couldn’t say no.
Peggy and Macy have always been close. Macy is the oldest of four grandchildren and was born right after Peggy’s mom and brother both died within a year of each other. Peggy says that Macy came into her life when she needed her the most. She is Macy’s grandma, her pitching coach and her softball coach, but Macy is the one who gave Peggy new life.
Peggy is the current head coach of the 14U Knob Noster fast pitch softball team. Peggy has been coaching the team for a while and looks forward coaching them as they finish out their playing careers. Peggy enjoys coaching because she loves helping kid, giving back to her community and being a positive influence on the girls.
Peggy and Macy have only missed one game together. Last summer, Peggy got sick at a tournament in Overland Park and was unable to coach the girls. After the game, Macy brought Peggy the game ball, told her she wasn’t allowed to miss anymore games and gave her a hug that Peggy says she’ll never forget.
Last summer, in their first Show-Me STATE GAMES tournament, the team finished with a bronze medal in the 12U competition. Peggy expects this year’s competition in the 14U division to be tougher, but she believes the girls will still have fun and learn from the experience.