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#27 Billy Kayser

We started off as 20 strangers but in the end we finished with 19 brothers and 1 Angel. We have shared everything from laughs to tears. As each one of our brothers fell, there was one right by their side sticking their hand out helping them up. With each tear that rolled down our cheek there was always someone to wipe them away. the tears we have shared changed us from friends to family and boys to men.

In a perfect world we ride off into the sunset hoisting a state championship trophy but life isn't a fairy tale and there are disappointments. The season went from the indoor practices of March to the tears of April and the section semi-final run in May. Unfortunately our high expectations in the beginning of the season were stopped by fate, which never gave us a chance to take the field at full strength. With many injuries and the tragic death of beloved teammate William "Billy" Kayser left the lineup with many voids to fill. People who took the responsibility and got the job done filled these voids. The season started at rock bottom, many doubted us, except ourselves. Some days it was hard to put on our uniforms as we paid tribute to our hero, but there were some days when we took Billy's lively spirit, applying it to the game making it fun again. There is no doubt in any of our minds that during the year we had an angel lifting us up when we needed help and pushing us when we faltered. In the process of mourning Billy's death, but most importantly celebrating his life, we all took different roads, but ended up in the same place. With many things ending pre-maturely this year, our brotherhood will not, and will last a lifetime. The baby steps we took to overpower adversity and accomplish what we did this season are immeasurable and the bonds we formed are unforgettable.

With the baseball season over, the wins and losses do not matter. As adversity struck us at every angle we did not falter. We laughed together, we cried together, but most importantly when we fell as individuals we rose stronger and more powerful than ever imaginable, as a family. As the most memorable baseball season of our lives is now complete I leave you with this. Please do not forget the memories we shared or the teammates who picked you up off the ground to wipe away your tears. Always remember each and every one of us. No matter how long we have not spoken for or how far away we are from each other, whether we are across the world or through the Gates of Heaven, we will always be a family. As we continue on through life and go our separate ways the 2003 Pearl River Pirates baseball team will ALWAYS remain 19 brothers and 1 Angel.

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