On a night when Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. spoke of perseverance, one area high school sports team was honored for that very trait.
Ripken, the guest speaker at the 19th annual Greater Augusta Medals for Excellence in Sports (GAMES) awards banquet, told a crowd of more than 250 athletes, coaches and guests that a "sense of conviction" and a "sense of consistency" drove him in his successful quest of 2,632 consecutive games played in the big leagues.
The Greenbrier girls softball team, who won a 14th consecutive region championship this season, also needed perseverance. The Lady Wolfpack lost longtime assistant coach Mark Moseley to cancer less than a month ago. On Tuesday night, Greenbrier softball coach and athletic director Garrett Black and his entire softball squad received the GAMES Award for Outstanding Team. Moseley's wife, Joyce, took the stage as the honor was announced and accepted the award on the team's behalf.
"Mark was here tonight. I'm totally convinced of that," Black said. "It made me feel good to see Joyce up there."
The award was one of 21 handed out at Augusta Marriott Hotel & Suites in an annual event held by the Greater Augusta Sports Council. The council's events manager, Randy DuTeau, said the number of people attending the dinner nearly tripled from that of a year ago, the first time the GAMES Awards were held as a separate event from the council's Ray Guy Award ceremony.
"The flow of the program works better now," DuTeau said. "Breaking this out on its own definitely makes sense. I think it raises the level of the awards that were given out tonight."
Ripken also shared stories from his childhood and how he ended up calling pitches from his shortstop position for the Baltimore Orioles. Ripken wrapped up the night by signing autographs and taking photos with the athletes and their guests.