The Tyrone varsity softball team was playing for more than just a win Tuesday night. They were playing for Bobby Gensimore.
“Whenever he would coach us for summer softball he would always be loud and crazy at practices,” Emily Hamer, a senior on the team, told us. “No matter what situation we were in he would always make us laugh.”
Grace Gensimore is a senior on the team. It’s her dad who died in February while he was setting up road flares for PennDOT along I-99 in Blair County.
Now the team is batting for him.
“It means a lot because Grace is my best friend and her dad was an amazing person,” Emily Lehman, another senior on the team, said emotionally. “He did a lot for people around here.”
As the softball family still mourns the loss of Bobby, they’re paying tribute to his life and legacy with a new flagpole.
They held a ceremony after their game to remember a man well-known in the community, but also a way to thank first responders.
“Bobby was a firefighter and he was a first responder,” Kristen Pearson, the Tyrone softball booster president, said. “We just decided what better way than to honor our everyday heroes than with something like this.”
As the tears were shed and the hugs were shared, the event showed sometimes the real wins happen off the field.
“It’s really important for us just to be there to support Grace and her family and come together as a softball community,” Emily Baran explained.
The money for the flagpole was raised by selling t-shirts and Easter flowers from Berkstresser’s Greenhouse in Tipton. A number of local businesses and community members also donated.