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Panthers inspire community pride

By Staff | Aug 8, 2020

Submitted Photo Panther second base player Logan Harner (back, right) warms up with first base player Austin Schneibel before a game in the North Dakota Babe Ruth Class B Tournament in Kindred.

The Rugby Panthers wrapped up its season with a trip to the North Dakota Class B Babe Ruth tournament in Kindred, complete with a sendoff from local first responders.

The Panthers finished the tournament in sixth place.

The first day of play got under way after an opening ceremony featuring a speech by the North Dakota Air National Guard’s Chief Master Sgt. Jeff Miller and a flyover by three planes.

The Panthers played its first game Friday against the Casselton Black Stockings.

After a scoreless four innings of play, Casselton struck the first blow with three runs, then pulled further ahead of the Panthers, who managed only one run to answer.

Submitted Photo The bus carrying the 2020 Babe Ruth Turtle Mountain League Champion Rugby Panthers arrives at a hotel near Kindred, the site of the North Dakota Babe Ruth Championship.

The Panthers next faced the Hazen Bisons, redeeming themselves with an 11-5 blowout.

Rugby seemed poised to repeat their pattern from regional play, when they climbed back to take the championship after a game one defeat, but the Surrey Blue Sox stood in their way, denying them a spot in the championship round with a heartbreaking 6-5 defeat in an extra inning.

“They fought a good battle,” Rugby Assistant Coach Landen Foster said after the game against the Blue Sox. “They are enjoying the night together as a team and will head back to Rugby tomorrow.”

A message on Rugby Recreation’s Facebook page read, “To the coaches that believed in us, the parents that supported us and the team that worked together to get us there, we made memories to last a lifetime!”

“Thank you Dillon Marco and Landen Foster for the encouragement and praise over the summer and making dreams of getting this team to state a reality! We are so proud to have had these incredible coaches for the summer!” the message said.

“This group of young men are such a fine example of what we hope all boys will look up to and inspire to be. The have been a pleasure to watch this summer,” the message added. “Keep up the hard work boys. You have a lot of years ahead of you!”

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