The Duncan Banner

July 27, 2013

Friends, family honor Wiles with memorial tournament

Sean Gorman
The Duncan Banner

MARLOW — The beautiful, constant smile. The unmatched passion and enthusiasm for dancing. The unbreakable bond between she and her friends and family.

There is plenty to remember Alyssa Wiles by, and that’s exactly what the members of Stephens County and its surrounding towns did Friday night.

Staying up through the wee hours of the morning, the community honored her memory with the Alyssa Wiles Memorial Overnight Softball Tournament at Eddie Palmer.

Wiles, a 14-year old who lived in Duncan, died in early June.

“It’s good to have everyone come out like this,” Wiles’ grandfather Randy Gilreath said. “We’ve had a lot of community support and kids and adults all having a good time.”

All proceeds from the event went to Wiles’ family.

With more than 14 teams and 100 players competing until around 8 a.m., family members and friends took time to share their memories of Alyssa and how she touched so many peoples’ lives.

The competition was heated – event organizers went as far as to set up a winners and losers bracket – and when the dust settled, The Bombers Team emerged as the tournament champion early Saturday. The Leftovers took second after forfeiting because they had to play in another tournament and Team Alyssa’s Angels came in third.

“I knew from the start that softball tournaments make good money, so it was a good fit,” event organizer Jessie Bishop said. “We had this tournament last year for the nursing home and got just five teams out, so it was wonderful having as many as 14 teams play. Everyone pulled together and managed to stay out here as long as they could.”

Gilreath said the kind of response he saw at the event was inspiring and rare.

“It’s so great, it’s not just Duncan. It’s Marlow, Rush Springs ... you don’t see this kind of thing everywhere you go,” Gilreath said. “I live in Norman and you don’t have these up there really so it’s extremely special to see all these people come out.”