The Inaugural Taylor Emmons Memorial Classic hosted by The Taylor Emmons Scholarship Fund was a huge success in its first season. The event was held at Taylor Emmons Field on the Uihlein Campus of The Out-of-Door Academy from March 30 to April 2, 2015. Eight exceptional baseball programs including: Canterbury School, Fort Myers; Island Coast High School, Cape Coral; Lake Gibson High School, Lakeland; McKeel Academy of Technology, Lakeland; Seacrest Country Day School, Naples; Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School, Bradenton; Windermere Preparatory School, Windermere; and The Out-of-Door Academy, competed in the first ever Emmons Classic vying to capture the championship title. After four days, 17 games, and a spectacular Home Run Derby, Windermere Preparatory School victoriously took home the title against Lake Gibson High School. The Out-of-Door Academy placed third.
The invitational was a major success with players, coaches, and families enjoying the atmosphere throughout the week. In addition to bringing the championship to Windermere, the most valuable player was senior, Chase Huntley and the winner of the Home Run Derby was Rylan Thomas, both Windermere Preparatory players. Thomas just squeaked out of the first round of the derby with a 3-2 edge, but he came on strong to belt eight homers during the second round and he put on a home run clinic in front of the crowd during the finale, including Little League players from Sarasota, with 20 home runs.
The tournament would not have been a success without the players and coaches who played, the TEMC Committee, the wonderful sponsors, and of course the families and friends who came out each day to support the event.
Out-of-Door baseball coach Tim Orlosky told the East County Observer, "We wanted to have a feel-good tournament in memory of Taylor. We are excited about the experience and the quality of the teams that we brought in to play." Tim's vision came true as the athletes and community experienced a truly meaningful event in honor of Taylor.
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