MINERAL POINT, Wis. - Uriah Ottoway has been playing baseball since he was a kid. He’s started every game since he joined the team in Mineral Point, but he almost missed this year’s historic state playoff run. The game was the same day he was to ship out for basic training.
“It was definitely a regretting feeling,” Ottoway said. “But after thinking about it for a few days, I joined the military, I signed a contract.”
Ottoway’s coach Jordan Tibbets knew this was a possibility from the beginning of the season. Ottoway had planned to go to basic training this year – as a junior – so he could be back for a state appearance as a senior. He didn’t anticipate the team making it this year, but in the final outing of sectionals, it was clear.
The team won.
“Uriah was kind of bummed out on the way home,” Tibbets said. “We were all celebrating. He kind of just sat in his seat and was kind of sad because obviously his circumstances. He wasn't going to be able to play.”
Ottoway talked to his drill sergeant about the possibility of playing.
“I tried to break the news as gently as I could,” Sgt. Peter Thies said. “Being in the military you make a lot of sacrifices for the country, in the community that you live in, so he understood, but I could tell he was pretty upset that he wasn't going to be able to play.”
Thies said he would do everything that he could.
So he did.
Thies wrote a letter that made its way to the Pentagon, asking for a delay.
The chances were low, Thies said.
But on Monday, the good news came -- for the baseball team, in the form of a Snapchat.
”He said it in all capital letters,” coach Tibbets said, “and you could tell he was excited. We are all excited too.”
Now on Wednesday, Ottoway can take the field with his team, and basic training will wait – if only for a few days.
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