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April 23, 2014

Byng still remembers its angels in the outfield

Byng — Thirteen years ago, a tragedy jolted the community of Byng.

Bruce Plunk, director of athletics for the Byng School System, wants to make sure the lives lost in that tragedy are not forgotten.

In 2001, Byng baseball center fielder/pitcher David Hill and team manager/scorekeeper Ryan Prescott were participating in what was then called the Byng Tournament.

The pair was released for lunch on a Friday. While returning to school and the tournament, they were involved in a tragic vehicle accident in which both Hill and Prescott perished.

To honor their memory, the Byng Tournament was renamed the Hill-Prescott Tournament in 2002, and the name has remained since.

“This tournament is held to keep their memory alive and let everyone know what they meant to the program,” said Plunk.

The Hill-Prescott Tournament begins Thursday at Byng High School with a solid eight-team field. At noon, Tuttle battles Coalgate, followed by host Byng and McLoud at 2:30 p.m., Ada against Seminole at 5 p.m. and Latta opposite Plainview at 7:30 p.m.

Four more games will take place on Friday, beginning at noon with the two losers’ bracket games, followed by the two semifinal contests at 5 p.m.

On Saturday, the consolation championship begins at 11 a.m., followed by the third-place game at 1:30 p.m. and the championship at 4 p.m.

That 2001 season for the Pirates ended up being bittersweet, as Byng ultimately rolled to a Class 4A state championship and then-head coach Brian Capps was named National Coach of the Year.

However, the path to that pinnacle three weeks later was obviously a rough, emotional ride.

“Both of those kids were wonderful students and fun to be around,” remembered Capps. “That team was close and had a lot of team chemistry. It was something you can’t put into words. It was a testament to the kids that they went on to win state three weeks later.”

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