TJC Baseball Team Copes With Teammate's Serious Car Accident - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/07/07-Tyler

TJC Baseball Team Copes With Teammate's Serious Car Accident

For the many kids with special needs, food and fun made Sunday a special day.  

But for a group of volunteers, Sunday is weighed especially heavy on their hearts.  

"The reality of Payton's situation will be here as soon as we're done today," said Jon Groth, baseball coach at TJC.  "But for a few hours this afternoon, it's allowing us to get away from that for a minute."

Saturday, Coach Groth and his team found out that one of their own, Payton Diers, a sophomore pitcher at TJC, was critically injured in a car accident.

Since then, Payton has been in and out of surgeries and his team--a second family--is hoping he'll pull through.  

"We're praying for God to heal him, to work with the doctors," said Groth.  "We're also standing side by side with his family knowing that, no matter what happens, that we're there for them as well." 

Payton helped seal TJC's World Series win last year, and memories like those which are helping his teammates get through this difficult time.  

"He's a competitor on the mound, and on the baseball field," said pitching coach, Hart Hering.  "I know he's competing right now."

TJC Catcher, Mike McCollum said Payton always has a smile on his face and he always cheershis team members up when they need it.  "He's a real good guy," he said.

A real good guy who is battling for his life and bringing the TJC community together.   

"TJC's got a lot of people and a lot of people are rallying around here, and his family, they're staying strong, so we're going to stay strong for him too," said fellow pitcher, Blake Worthen.

Payton's family and teammates have also set up blood drives for Payton.

On Monday, Oct. 8, East Texans will have the opportunity to help Payton by donating blood at two locations in Tyler:

The Blood Bank at 815 Baxter Street (behind ETMC) from 8:30am-1:00pm

Albertson's Shopping Center at 1828 ESE Loop 323 from 9:30am-1:00pm

Layron Livingston, KLTV 7 News. llivingston@kltv.com

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