by Tonya Hooper

Here is info from the tournament. I did not list the name of the winning team because it’s not really appropriate. You could just say the winning team was from Belton. Also, the tournament did not end until 3 a.m. on Sunday. I have yet to find someone with a picture. Sorry. They raised approximately $4000. A grand total is not yet available as they have to pay a few expenses and are waiting for a few people to pay for shirts.

On Saturday, June 9, the 4th annual Coach A softball tournament was held in El Dorado Springs at the city ball fields. Tournament donations will financially assist local individuals fighting serious health challenges. The tournament was paused at 10 a.m. so players and spectators could join in a prayer circle for the honorees, Clara Hemphill and Tiffany Bahr.

Clara is a 4-year-old who is battling a very rare genetic disorder called Fanconi Anemia. Clara was diagnosed in February of 2017 with FA, which affects all the systems of the body and is very complex. Currently it is affecting her bone marrow and its ability to produce normal amounts of blood cells. As a result, Clara will be facing a future bone marrow transplant in Cincinnati, OH. FA also affects how the body repairs damaged cells, making her highly susceptible to develop some form of cancer.

Tiffany, a counselor at El Dorado Springs Middle School, was diagnosed with a cavernous sinus/sella turica meningioma skull base brain tumor earlier this year. Because of the location of the tumor, many doctors said it was inoperable due to high risks. The prognosis was discouraging until Tiffany’s family found Dr. Prevedello, a neurosurgeon at the Ohio State University Hospital. Dr. Prevedello’s knowledge and skills of the cavernous sinus/sella turica meningioma gave the family new hope. Tiffany will undergo a 3-step treatment program including two surgeries and radiation.

The Coach A tournament was first organized in 2015 when Jamie Alexander, football coach at Nevada high school and lovingly known as Coach A, was diagnosed with brain cancer. A former player, Clay Regers, organized the first tournament to help the Alexander family with medical bills. Since then, the Alexander family with the help of Clay, has continued to host the tournament to raise money for families in the surrounding community.

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