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St. Mary’s upgrades backstop, dugouts in memory of Scott Whittier

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 May 2014 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – Friends of Scott Whittier put up a new backstop and safety fence at the St,. Mary’s Little League field today. The field is located behind the St. Mary’s Athletic Club on Moore Street. Whittier was a coach for the team. Some of the volunteers include Joe Furness, carrying the ladder, and Bob Coots, up on the ladder.

ALBION – Scott Whittier’s friends and family are working to keep his memory alive by upgrading some of the local Little League fields where Whittier was a coach.

Last year, they installed a new backstop for the Carlton Clippers at the team’s field behind the Carlton Recreation hall on Route 98.

Whittier also coached the St. Mary’s team, and today volunteers tore off an old backstop and put on a new one. They put up a safety fence in front of the dugouts and stands.

“He was always willing to help somebody, no matter how busy he was,” said his friend, Joe Furness. “He was very energetic and that would inspire you. His energy was infectious to everybody around him.”

It’s been nearly two years since Whittier, a popular youth baseball coach, died following complications from surgery. Whittier was only 44 when he died May 13, 2012.

St. Mary’s Athletic Club volunteers also helped with the upgraded backstop. Here, Scott Whittier’s friend Billy Hickman, left, works with St. Mary’s member Rick Ebbs to secure the new backstop.

Whittier’s friends and family organized a bowling tournament in January. More than 200 bowlers raised about $2,000 at the event at Oak Orchard Lanes. That money paid for the new backstop, fencing and also new metal roofs over the dugouts.

Whittier’s fiancée, Donna Hess, thanked Oak Orchard owner Randy Hanks and his family for their efforts with the bowling tournament. She said Whittier poured his heart into youth sports and enjoyed coaching the kids.

Whittier’s friends were thankful for the chance today to remember their friend and improve the ball field at St. Mary’s.

“If you had to design a friend, Scott would be the one,” said Bob Coots.

The new field will host the home opener for the St. Mary’s team on Saturday.

Joe Furness, right, drills the top section of the backstop into a row of wood. Other volunteers include Craig Wright, center, and Bob Coots.