Just to let everyone know about what happened at GHS today in reference to Memorial Day & Cole Starke Memorial. Goochland won the game 3-2. Cole’s number was 3.
Goochland High School Baseball
Memorial Day/Playoff Game/Cole Starke Memorial
Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to today’s contest between the Raiders of Amelia County High School and your Goochland Bulldogs. Today’s game will get started in a few minutes.
Today is Memorial Day and we need to take a few minutes to put this day into perspective. In 1868, Major General John A. Logan of the United States Army declared May 30th to be “Decoration Day” where all people in the United States were asked to spend the day decorating the graves of all soldiers who had been killed during the Civil War with “the choicest flowers of springtime”.
General Logan further urged, “We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance…and…Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or coming generations that we have forgotten as a people, the cost of a free and undivided republic.”
In the 238 year history of America, just over 1.1 million American soldiers have died in the wars of our nation preserving our freedoms. In 1971, Congress made Memorial Day a Federal Holiday to be observed on the last Monday of May each year. At this time I would ask each of you to stand with me for a moment of reflection as we remember the American Military Members who have made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can join together today for this baseball game in this great land.
—–Moment of Silence with Playing of Taps (Track 35) ———
Thank you. And if you are a current or veteran member of our armed forces we thank you for your service.
At this time we will proceed with the lineups for both teams beginning with the Raiders of Amelia County; Players and coaches please line up on the third base line when called.
Now, the lineup for your Goochland Bulldogs; Starting players, substitutes and coaches please line up on the first base line. DO NOT TAKE YOUR FIELDING POSITION.
Players please remain in place on the base lines.
Now we move to yet another somber event for today. I will try my best to get thru this but please bear with me if there is a pause while I regroup.
For our baseball families from both Amelia and Goochland, we are blessed to live in small town USA. Everywhere you go, people know you. If you do good it makes the local paper. If you do bad your parents know before you get home. News travels fast and local news has an impact on all of us.
Last year Amelia High School suffered a loss as their second baseman, Lucas Radford, died as a result of an automobile accident. During their season last year they started every game in the “Missing Man” formation. When their team took the field there was no one playing second base. Their first pitch was a pitchout to the catcher and then a player came from the dugout to field the position formerly held by Lucas who would have been a senior this year and graduation would have been in his plans for this week.
Sunday morning our Goochland community was rocked by the sudden death of Cole Starke, a 2013 Graduate of Goochland High School and a four-year high school baseball player. Cole played baseball in this town since he was able to walk. When you mention his name to people they know him as a baseball player. He played Dixie Youth Baseball, Dixie Pre-Majors, Dixie Majors, Travel Baseball, RBA Baseball, Showcase Baseball, High School Baseball, and after graduating last year he attended Greensboro College and was playing baseball at the collegiate level. What an awesome video we were treated to when he was involved in that triple play earlier this season.
While Baseball was a driving force in Cole’s life, he was most importantly a son, a brother, a grandson, a nephew, a friend, and a team mate. Every one of us here tonight has been touched by him during his short life. He was even well respected by opposing teams as they recognized him as a serious ball player who was passionate about the game.
This week will bring more formal services and remembrances of Cole but tonight we remember him as a member of our team; in a way that we hope he would want to be remembered – on the ball field. We know that his parents, Kim & Jim, wore out several vehicles running all over the East Coast to watch Cole play ball – but this field was home. This is the field that Cole, like so many of our other young men, dreamed to play on when they were kids. Tonight we remember that Cole set that goal; and lived it; and loved it. He played every game like it was game 7 of the World Series. Therein lies a life lesson to us all – Play every game like you might not get another.
Tonight our players wear a black #3 in memory of Cole. At this time I would like to introduce one more time on this field the returning Bulldogs who played ball with Cole and graduated with him last year. Cole wore jersey number 3 during his Varsity career at GHS. Carrying his jersey down the line for one last “high-five” from his former team mates as well as the opposing team are Jake King, Forrest Witt, Josh Driver, Trace Nixon, and Mason Carneal. They will be making their way from 1st base to home plate to third base and then take up Cole’s position at Short Stop. Together they will collect a jar of ball field dirt from his former position which we will present to Cole’s family as a keepsake.
Ladies and Gentleman, on behalf of the players, coaches, staff, and administration of Goochland High School, I thank you for helping us honor Cole Starke tonight. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
At this time we ask everyone to please stand, remove your hats, and direct your attention to the American Flag on the pole between the third base dugout and the football field bleachers while we pay tribute to America. Our National Anthem tonight is being performed by our GHS Womens Choir under the direction of Mrs. Susan Duty.
We look forward to a safe and fair game demonstrating the sportsmanship for which these two teams and schools are known.
Gentlemen – Let’s “Play Ball”.