Softball players participating in the 2012 edition of the Brent Bertrand Memorial Softball Tournament in Warrensburg celebrate the remarkable life and legacy of Bertrand, a beloved teacher and coach at Warrensburg High School. This year's tournament is set for Saturday June 15 at the town of Warrensburg recreational fields off Library Ave. — and although the region has endured rain nearly daily for several weeks, the clouds are expected to part on Saturday.
Students, teachers and alumni of Warrensburg High School will be celebrating the life and legacy of a beloved instructor and coach Saturday June 15 as they participate in a softball tournament held in his honor.
The second annual Bertrand Memorial Softball Tournament will be held at the Warrensburg town recreational fields of Library Avenue. A series of games are to be held simultaneously on the three fields at the venue, with men and women competing.
Warrensburg Central teacher and coach Mary ann Bump said the premier edition of the tournament featured 45 players and raised about $4,000 for the Bertrand Memorial Scholarship fund.
Bump said the tournament not only raised money for academic advancement, but offered an opportunity for people to remember the technology teacher and coach who inspired and mentored Warrensburg High School students for more than 30 years. Bertrand died unexpectedly in January 2012 at the untimely age of 53.
“It (Bertrand’s death) was a real shock for everyone—faculty, students and his family. We wanted to have the opportunity to honor him with our thoughts and stories about him, and through playing softball,” said Bump.
Brent Bertrand was hired by Warrensburg Central School District in 1983, and spent 28 years with the school.
From 1986 to 2003, he served as Junior Varsity Softball coach and also served three years as Varsity Softball coach, until 2011.
During his tenure, Bertrand coached squads in the early 1990s that went on in subsequent years to the state championship finals three times.
All proceeds from the tournament go to the scholarship fund, which offers a one-time stipend of $250 to one female and one male student with at least a B average, and who are involved in both community and school activities.
The scholarship awardees are chosen for their enhusiasm and dedication in pursuingn various school activities, not necessarily athletics. They also are to display optimism, reflecting Bertrand’s approach to life, Bump said.
“Brent had a smile that was the first thing to walk into a room. As a matter of fact I think it’s still here in this school.”
Last year’s recipients of the scholarship were Angela Perrone and Lucas Nelson.
So far, 25 people have signed up for year’s tournament and Bump said that seniors at WCS will be eligible to participate for the first time.
Opening ceremonies will begin at noon with an introduction of players by the year they graduated. The event includes a 50/50 raffle, a drawing for gift baskets, plus food will be available for purchase.
At the tournament’s conclusion, all are invited to George Henry’s Restaurant, 3735 Main St., for an updated presentation memorializing Bertrand. The slide show features photographs of Bertrand with friends and former student athletes, and scenes from last year’s tournament — celebrating a great teacher, coach and friend, Bump said.
Organizing the tournament is a committee of former players and friends of Bertrand’s, including Sara Rumrill Bammert, Kim Lamy McKenna, Stacey Lamy Gutowski, Missy Ackley, Janell Quintal Egloff, Jill Squires Galusha and Mary ann Bump.
“This really will be a celebration of Brent’s life,” Bump said. “It’s going to be a chance to celebrate Brent and everything that he was to us. He touched so many lives as a technology teacher. There are so many people out there with a birdhouse or a table or something that was made right in his classroom, and there are countless students athletes that learned from him.”
Players are encouraged to pre-register for the tournament. The fee is $25,which includes a T-shirt.
Those who would like to donate without participating onfield can submit a check to the Warrensburg Teachers Association — Brent Bertrand Memorial Scholarship, 103 Schroon River Road, Warrensburg, NY, 12885. For details, call Bump at 623-2861, ext. 201.