After losing several members in school shooting, Uvalde Little League plays-on with purpose

Adam Winkler Image
Friday, July 8, 2022
Uvalde Little League plays on with a purpose
As the town of Uvalde continues to try and heal, residents search for a sense of normalcy. This includes the continuing of the little league season.

UVALDE, Texas (KTRK) -- More than six weeks removed and nearly 60 miles away from Robb Elementary School, J.J. Suarez still struggles to speak about the deadliest school shooting in Texas history.

"Uvalde, we're a tight-knit community," Suarez said during an interview with ABC13 on Thursday. "And we lost 21 individuals, 22 with Joe Garcia, to this tragedy."

Suarez is the president of the Uvalde Little League. With ribbons in their hair and logos on their uniforms, players on both a softball team and a baseball team from Uvalde competed in the Junior Sectional tournament Thursday at the Medina Valley Youth Baseball Association Complex in Castroville.

Cheryl Sanchez is not only the Softball Player Agent for Uvalde Little League, her daughter is a member of the team.

"Children heal better through play," Sanchez, a Uvalde native, said. "The resiliency they have shown has just been remarkable. In many ways, I think, they're doing better than the adults. And we just felt we needed to not take something else away from them."

More than half of the 19 students who died inside Robb Elementary School were involved with Uvalde Little League, including six victims who were registered to play this season.

"They watched them play," Sanchez said of the young victims from the shooting. "We have a very small facility, so the older girls served as mentors to the younger ones. They're also out there playing to support the siblings who lost their loved ones. This is not something that can be put into words so easily, because it is unbelievable."

Actions speak louder than words - even when those words are hard to find. So this group of Little Leaguers is taking the field for their friends, loved ones, and teachers taken far too soon.

"In speaking with some of the family members of the Little Leaguers that we lost, they encouraged us to continue moving forward," Suarez revealed.

Moving forward without moving on.

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