Presenting the annual Sara Hightower Murff Scholarships and hosting a Little League Clinic have become two of the most anticipated events leading up to the NJCAA Division III World Series each year.
Awarding the Murff Scholarships has become a tradition as Robert E. Lee High School’s Travis Miller and Arp High School’s Gena Allen were awarded the scholarships during Media Day on Wednesday at Mike Carter Field.
Former Tyler Junior College coach Dr. Jon Groth and Richard Solomon of Austin Bank presented the scholarships to Miller and Allen.
Sara Hightower Murff is the widow of Red Murff, the New York Mets scout who discovered Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan. She was unable to attend the ceremony this year.
Red Murff, who lived in Tyler when he passed away in 2008, was also a major league pitcher and pitched some legendary professional games at Mike Carter Field. He was married for 30-plus years to Sara, who taught first-grade reading for 28 years.
Miller played catcher at REL, while Allen was a first baseman for the Lady Tigers.
Allen, who sports a 3.6 GPA and volunteered for Special Olympics and Salvation Army among her many community service projects, will attend UT Tyler and major in nursing.
“I am very thankful I was considered for the Sara Murff Scholarship,” said Allen, who was homecoming queen and prom queen. “This will help me pursue my nursing degree.”
Miller, who has a 3.9 GPA and is involved in Boy Scouts and many other community service projects, plans to attend the University of Oklahoma and major in biology or bio-chemistry.
“It is an honor to be selected,” Miller said. “I’m blessed to be able to just apply for this scholarship.”
The D-III National Baseball Championship presented by Wells Fargo Advisors Tyler Texas Offices is scheduled to begin on Saturday at Mike Carter Field. This is the sixth consecutive year the tournament has been held in Tyler. SporTyler and Tyler Junior College recently won a bid that keeps the event here through at least 2015.
Eight teams, including Tyler Junior College, will by vying for the coveted championship. It is double elimination with four games each on Saturday and Sunday. TJC is in Game 1 of World Series against St. Cloud (Minn.) Technical & Community College at 9 a.m. Saturday.
The Apaches won it all in 2007 and finished second in 2010.
The Little League Clinic is scheduled for today at Mike Carter Field.
The free clinic is for Little League players and their families. Coaches and players from Juco World Series teams will conduct the clinic.
The clinic is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and continue to about 7:30 p.m. Teams are welcome to come together.
SMOKE SIGNALS: Mike Carter Field, 1900 W. Houston St., is between the Tyler Rose Garden and Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium. … Ticket prices are: tournament pass (adults only) $20; single day pass (adult) $5; single day pass (students/children) $3; children 10 & under (free) and any Little League player in uniform (free).
NJCAA Division III World Series
Presented By Wells Fargo
Advisors Tyler Texas Office
At Mike Carter Field
Saturday, May 19
Game 1: Tyler Junior College (36-18) vs. St. Cloud (Minn.) Technical & Community College (35-5), 9 a.m.
Game 2: Joliet (Ill.) Junior College (33-29) vs. Nassau (N.Y.) Community College (23-26), noon
Game 3: Niagara County (N.Y.) Community College (35-20) vs. Gloucester (N.J.) Community College (46-9), 4 p.m.
Game 4: Montgomery (Md.) College-Germantown (30-26) vs. Northern Essex (Mass.) Community College (27-7), 7 p.m.
Sunday, May 20
Game 5: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 9 a.m.
Game 6: Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, noon
Game 7: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 4 p.m.
Game 8: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4, 7 p.m.
Monday, May 21
Game 9: Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 7, noon
Game 10: Winner Game 5 vs. Loser Game 8, 4 p.m.
Game 11: Winner Game 7 vs. Winner Game 8, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, May 22
Game 12: Winner Game 9 vs. Winner Game 10, 4 p.m.
Game 13: Winner Game 12 vs. Loser Game 11, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, May 23
Game 14: Winner Game 11 vs. Winner Game 13, 7 p.m.
Thursday, May 24
Game 15: If necessary, 7 p.m.