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Concordia All-Stars use teamwork for more than baseball

Members of the Concordia 11-year-old All-Stars gather around teammates Cole McGivaren, center left, and Alden Cupit, who have both lost their fathers in the past year. (Jay Sowers / The Natchez Democrat)
Members of the Concordia 11-year-old All-Stars gather around teammates Cole McGivaren, center left, and Alden Cupit, who have both lost their fathers in the past year. (Jay Sowers / The Natchez Democrat)

Vidalia — Within the past year, the players of the Concordia All-Stars 11 year olds learned what it truly means to be a teammate and a friend.

As the All-Stars were gearing up for the district tournament in July of 2012, Alden Cupit was dealing with losing his father, Michael Cupit, during brain surgery.

Cupit leaned on his teammates and coaches to balance the happiness of baseball season with the woes of losing a loved one.

Concordia head coach Christal McGlothin said helping Cupit with his situation has been an emotional roller coaster.

“As time goes on, he seems to get more emotional,” McGlothin said. “We talk about his father on a daily basis and we always talk about the good times they shared, it’s the only way I can get him to smile.”

As Cupit tries to get better, he now has to be strong for his teammate Cole McGivaren, who lost his father to colon cancer in February.

McGivaren’s mother, Jennifer, made sure she prepared Cole for it.

“His faith helps him through it all,” she said. “He just gets up and goes knowing that his father is in a better place.”

Now as the All-Stars get ready for the 2013 district tournament in Monroe Saturday, they must lean on one another to make it to the state tournament.

“All of the boys are really close, some go to the same school or live in the same neighborhood,” McGlothin said. “They have each other to talk to and they help each other out.”

McGlothin said both Cupit and Cole have been strong. They both come out on the field and give their all every day.

Jennifer said Cole plays his hardest every day for his father. Cole is showing his dad that he loves the game just as much as he did.

“Even when his father was sick he would come to (Cole’s) games attached to a chemo pump,” Jennifer said. “His kids meant the world to him.”

Cole said this tournament is dedicated to his father and their love of the game.

“I’m going to play my best because I know my dad is watching us while we play,” Cole said. “Every time I play, I think of everything he taught me.”

Cupit said he thinks about the days his father would help him with his batting skills and strive to be a better player every day. He said he is working on his skills in order to win the state championship.

As Cole and Cupit step to the plate with their fathers watching over them, their teammates will be in the dugout encouraging them to give all they have in remembrance of the most important men in their lives.

The Concordia All-Stars play a double header at 2 p.m. against Mangham and 4:30 p.m. against Winnsboro Saturday in Monroe.

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