Oxford Strong Classic to be played annually

Before the April 18 game, the Oxford Strong Classic trophy was presented to the Oxford Wildcats. From the left are Wildcats Owen Schihl, Dom Torres, Brody Moore, Oxford Coach Dave Herrick, Clarkston Coach Addison Turk and Wolves Carson White, Luke Spicer and Ryan Witt. Photo provided.

Oxford vs. Clarkston as a way to remember

By Don Rush

Last week the Oxford Varsity Baseball team held onto the Oxford Strong Classic trophy for three days, before having to turn the trophy back to the Clarkston Wolves.

On April 18, the Wolves traveled to Oxford to play Game 1 of a three game series and to present Oxford with the Oxford Strong Classic trophy. Last season, Oxford won the series and the right to hold it. The trophy wasn’t completed until recently, so last Tuesday was the first time it was presented. The Wildcats behind the pitching of Owen Schihl won Game 1, 2-0 with Schihl pitching a no-hitter. Logan Marshall had a two-run homer for the game’s only scores. The next two days saw Oxford drop the next two games to Clarkston, 2-9 and 1-4. In Game 2, Drake Krawczk pitched three innings, striking out four batters. In Game 3, Max Lovins went 2-for-3 at the plate and Brody was 2-for-4 with an RBI.

According to Oxford coach Dave Herrick, the Oxford Strong Classic was the brain-child of Clarkston baseball dad Chris Busyn. Busyn had won an auction of a pair of cleats worn by Clarkston graduate Max Bain who had the pair of cleats specifically made to honor Oxford.

Chris’ son Trevor played for Clarkston last year. He wanted to make sure some random person didn’t get the cleats, so he won the auction. He came up with the idea to come up with a trophy that Oxford and Clarkston would compete for on an annual basis,” Herrick said. “He made one of the cleats into the trophy and I am actually taking the other cleat to the high school to be put up into a trophy case.”

Bain, who graduated from Clarkston in 2015, is now pitching AA ball with the Chicago Cubs’ Tennessee Smokies team.

When I heard about the shooting in Oxford, the first thing I did was think about the countless friends and family I have in Oxford. The coach I played travel ball with when growing up has two kids in the district, now three. I texted everyone to make sure they were okay. Once the dust settled a little, my first thought was to come up with ways I could help and give back, even if from afar. And, that’s where the idea of the cleats came from. I have a friend, Alex Katz, who runs Stadium Custom Kicks – they do custom footwear for athletes. We got together and came up with the design for the cleats.”

The cleats are almost completely navy blue, with a bit of yellow. “On the outside of the left shoe is the Oxford Strong logo and on the other shoe we listed the four students who lost their lives that day – Hana, Madisyn, Justin and Tate,” Bain said. “I wore them once last year for a start and then auctioned them off. Different people wanted them for different reasons. I think we are fortunate that they landed in Chris Busyn’s hands. And, he came up with the running classic between Clarkston and Oxford. I couldn’t be happier on the way this turned out.”

The funds from the auction were donated to 42-Strong – the Tate Myre Foundation.

I am incredibly grateful to have such an impact. I think it is really cool the schools have embraced it. I would like to be there one of these years. I think it is important that we remember these kinds of things. The Oxford Strong Classic is obviously a positive thing for the kids, but remembering why this all started in the first place – coming together to remember those lives lost that day and the lives impacted that day.”

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This week, the Wildcats traveled to Rochester High School for games on Monday, Tuesday and again on Thursday. On Friday they host Armada High School for a double headers starting at 4 p.m. Next Monday and Tuesday they travel to Lake Orion High School.


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