GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.--Hearts are heavy this week following the deadly and devastating tornado that ripped through Moore, Oklahoma Monday. But, for Connors State, it has affected the team on a more personal level.
Not only does a former player serve as a firefighter for the town, but it was a very frightening day for two current Cowboys who call Moore home.
"I immediately called my parents, couldn't get a hold of them," freshman infielder Jacob Borrego said. "Called my sisters, didn't get through either, but finally got through to a friend."
"Got a lot of friends that don't have anything left," sophomore pitcher Sawyer Barnard said. "Totally. Everything's gone. It's just been really dramatic."
But, here's one thing they do know: Oklahomans are tough. And history has shown that, together, they can get back up and rebuild just about anything.
"When stuff like this happens, you can really tell how the community comes together," Borrego said. "It's awesome. It makes me proud to be from Moore."
"One thing about Oklahomans," added head coach Perry Keith. "They'll pull together. It's a resilient state. I guess that's the Okie factor."
Even though they're miles away, the Cowboys still plan to do what they can to honor the victims of Moore.
"I'm going to let the guys decide," Keith said. "We'll talk about that tonight, but we'll do something so they know they're in our hearts and minds up here."
Borrego wrote "Pray for Moore" on his hat and plans to write it on his wrist tape during the tournament, while Barnard wishes he could be back home to help.
"It's terrible," Barnard said. "You feel helpless being so far away and not being able to go. I told my mom, 'I'm about to come home,' and she was like, "No, you've worked your whole life to get to this position, so go do it.'"
No. 3 Connors State will face No. 2 Navarro in the opening round of the 2013 JUCO World Series Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Created: Wed, 22 May 2013 10:49:51 MST
Updated: Fri, 17 Jan 2014 12:55:32 MST