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Umpires award 26 scholarships to East Texas athletes

Published: May. 2, 2022 at 1:02 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - No balls and strikes Sunday at the Rose Garden in fact in a room full of umpires, no one yelled at them. Monday, the Texas Association of Sports Officials held their annual scholarship ceremony, awarding 26 players scholarship money.

“We actually have 31 applicants this year the biggest turnout we’ve ever had. With this organization, we only have so much money that we can actually give away. So we were able to give out 26 out of 31,″ according to Oscar Strain, president of Tyler Softball Association.

Strain tells us $13,000 total is awarded among the recipients, two from the Bullard Lady Panthers team, one of them Kaylee Paul says “it really shows like all the hard work I’ve done pays off.”

Kaylee’s father, Cameron Paul said “I’m extremely proud of Kaylee not just for today but for the person that she is.”

Tyler Legacy, like Bullard, is in the midst of playoffs, and both teams are still in the championship hunt.

Maddie Flanery from Tyler Legacy softball puts this perspective on the day. “It is super inspirational I feel very honored to be chosen for this it is so generous and anything really helps when it comes to money for college so it’s just awesome.”

Umpires aren’t the popular guys at the ball games, but in a small way they’re appreciated. Strain recalls “I was at a game last night, yesterday afternoon and a mom was sitting in the stands and says Oscar you called my games when I was in high school now, you’re calling my daughters games. That, for her to be able to remember me whether it was good or bad that’s what’s important. Just to be able to be given the opportunity to watch. If they’re playing ball and they’re going to school they’re not on the other side of the street doing something else, they shouldn’t be doing.”

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