HomeSportsWeek of baseball games dedicated to local DS community

Week of baseball games dedicated to local DS community

By Brandon Shields

Managing editor

For the past six years, the baseball programs at Madison Academic, Liberty Tech, Riverside and Chester County have gathered for a pair of games at Jackson Baseball Stadium – usually on or near March 21.

Madison and Liberty usually play each other while Riverside and Chester County match up.

The reason they play each year is because they do it to honor those in the local Down Syndrome community, raise funds for the local Down Syndrome Association of West Tennessee and bring awareness about those affected by it.

“We’ve rebranded it this year to ‘WES’s Game,’” said Madison head baseball coach Chris Clark. “The first reason being the initial name for it was a mouthful, but ‘WES’ is actually an acronym for the three young men who kind of set things into motion for us to even have the games.

“The W is my son, William Clark. E is Eli Quinn, the son of Eric Quinn, the baseball coach at Riverside. And S is for Sam Grapes, whose dad, Joe, was the baseball coach at Liberty in 2018 when we started this.”

After playing a pair of games that initial year in 2018, they actually weren’t able to play the next three years because of rainouts and COVID. They were able to play again on March 21 – global Down Syndrome Awareness Day – in 2021 and expanded it last year by bringing in the teams from South Side, Milan, Union City and Sacred Heart.

“Last year, it was scheduled for two days but stretched to three because of rainouts and make-up games,” Clark said. “But Dennis Bastien with the Jackson Rockabillys and I were talking last year, and he asked me to think about possibly expanding this to an entire week, and that’s what we’re doing this year.”

WES’s Game is set to start on Monday, March 18, with two games per day Monday through Friday and four games on Saturday.

There are 19 high school baseball teams set to play in the 14 games. The first game will start at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday with the second game starting at 7 p.m. On Wednesday, the first game starts at 4 p.m. and the second will start at 6:30.

Then on Saturday, games start at 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m., 4:30 and 7.

Admission to the games is free, but donations will be taken at the gate for the Down Syndrome Association of West Tennessee and to go to a local family who’s had a number of surgeries for their child in recent months.

“We want to help them out a little because multiple surgeries in Nashville can take a toll financially,” Clark said.

Brandon Shields,

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