GALION — The Peco Softball complex in Galion played host to a special event last weekend.
The 5th annual Celine Wyatt Memorial Tournament took place Friday through Sunday at Peco Park, but at the Galion High School softball field as well as Marshall Park in Ontario.
The tournament got its name from 11-year-old Celine Wyatt whose life was tragically lost in an ATV accident in southern Ohio. She was an active young lady who loved competition and made a name for herself among teammates both on the basketball court and the softball field.
So much so, that she earned herself the nickname ‘Bulldawg’ by those closest to her.
Upon her passing, Celine’s parents, Tim and Becky Wyatt, wanted to do something in her honor. They knew of nothing more fitting than a scholarship that would benefit another softball player.
In previous years, Zanesville has hosted the event. Now in it’s fifth year, this is the first time that the tournament has been held in Galion.
Galion’s Josh Caudill and his softball connection with tournament director Mark Fiorino made it happen. Holding the tournament in Galion with the use of satellite fields in the area allowed for a large expansion in the number of teams involved.
Caudill coaches the 16U Diamonds Elite Softball team which includes four softball players from Galion — Kate Schieber, Nicole Thomas, Madelyn Thomas, and his daughter Kayden.
The Diamonds played in the tournament last weekend as well as helping with field maintenance during bouts of rain to keep things running smoothly.
Fiorino had nothing but accolades for the facility at Peco Park, as well as the City of Galion and its hospitality and accommodations.
“We have 32 teams playing from six different states this weekend, and there is a waiting list to get into this tournament for next year. Everyone loves coming to Galion and your community has done a good job,” said Fiorino.
An opening ceremony for the tournament was held at noon on Friday with words delivered by Dave Wortman, a family friend of the Wyatt’s. His daughter and Celine were best friends.
“All of the money from this tournament goes directly into the scholarship fund,” Wortman told the crowd. “We currently have around $20,000 in the fund and we will award a total of $1,500 each year in two separate scholarships.”
“We receive essays from softball players all over the state, and Tim and Becky Wyatt enjoy reading the entries and choosing the recipients with the board. We are getting to the age now where some of Celine’s teammates will be eligible to apply for the scholarship, and that makes it even more special to the family,” continued Wortman.