By RUSSELL HUFFMAN
Tuesday’s softball and baseball Senior Night was unique and memorable as “Aunt” Becky Fryer and Karyn Bullock worked into secret until the last available moment before making the announcement there would be such an event.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the event couldn’t be held on the softball or baseball fields, so the Class of 2020’s Senior Night took place in the parking lot in front of the diamonds.
Fryer, who is never far away from her Nikon camera has served as a “Personal Paparazzi” for her nephew Braden and all of his friends for many years, and she is affectionately known as “Aunt Becky” to “her kids.”
Tuesday’s event started with hugs, candid snaps, lots of smiles, and a drive-by parade of fans who honked, waved, whistled, and held their signs that declared their love for players and a unified theme about bringing back baseball.
While Senior Night 2020 in Mineral Wells might have been a little different this year, it was as real and emotional as any other as heartstrings got pulled, and the tears flowed freely.
After the parade, the seniors presented roses to moms, and the family linked arms and took their walk in front of other parents.
The Index asked Fryer to share her thoughts on Senior Night and why she and Bullock pooled their resources to make the event happen?
By BECKY FRYER
Watching these kids grow up on these ball fields and hearing them talk about what they are going to do their Senior Year, well, it tugged at my heart to see that they would not have that chance. I can remember my sister (Melinda Fryer) saying she had waited for four years to be able to walk out on that baseball field as a proud parent of her Senior.
Melinda, she was heartbroken when she heard that the fields were being locked up, and the kids couldn’t even go practice. We still held onto the hope that the teams would be able to play at least one more tournament before the end of May.
The boys even continued to work out daily, and Coach (Brett) Ray would make them accountable for it. Then the dreaded text came to the players and families – Turn in your uniforms. It was NOT just about a uniform. It was a closure to hopes, teamwork, laughs, cries & memories.
So the one thing that I could do is have a 2020 Senior Walk for these players and ask the community to help celebrate our Seniors that just barely started their season. Of course, this Senior Walk was not like any other, and the kids looked at me crazy as I said after the parade, “now it’s time for your walk with your family.” I think they thought I was kidding. It was silly & very unorganized with our tiny PA system not working very well, sun in their faces, and them asking, “Now what do you want us to do again?” But more the reason that it will be remembered because we had a rose to give to their mom, balloons decorated, some of their senior stuff and signs on their vehicles, and we honestly had some laughs and watched these kids smile a little more. It may not have been very long or fancy, but this Senior Night was something to recognize them and to make such a sad ending, a little better memory for them.
We tried to keep it a surprise, but it just wasn’t possible those last few days. We could not have pulled it off without the help of Karyn Bullock. Karyn helped with the organization and getting the word out, Jennifer Schroeder’s Crew leading the parade with the Ram flag, everyone that participated in the parade, the three baseball coaches being involved, and the Families & everyone else that helped with the little things. Every bit was appreciated in helping Celebrate those Seniors and their parents.
I have taken pictures of lots of kids and a lot of sports for years now, but this class is special to me. Not only does 2020 have my nephew in it, it has a lot of other kids that call me their “Personal Paparazzi,” but my favorite other title given by a lot of them is their Aunt Becky
I have told these mommas THANK YOU for sharing your babies with me through my lens for all these years.