Lafayette baseball team raising money for Jared Antle ahead of his homecoming

Staff writer

After spending more than six months receiving treatment in Atlanta, Jared Antle may finally be coming home to Williamsburg for good on April 23, to the celebration of many, including several of his former teammates.

The 19-year-old former Lafayette Rams pitcher was severely injured in a hit-and-run in Harrisonburg in August of last year, only two days after the start of his sophomore year at James Madison University. When it came time for the current Rams team to decide upon their charity project for the year, they knew exactly what this year’s cause would be.

“We do a car wash to raise money for the team every year, or for one cause or another, but this year, we had no doubt about doing it for Jared,” said first baseman Jacob Golub. “It’s been tough knowing what he’s been put through, he was always a big part of this team, and in a lot of our lives, we just wanted to help him on his journey home.”

Jared has never been far from the minds of any of the players on the Lafayette baseball team this year. Many of them sporting bracelets saying JARED STRONG; they’ve also hung a sign with the same sentiment in the outfield of the team stadium.

“It was really hard not just for me, but a lot of guys on the team, and we’ve been hoping he’d make a recovery,” said junior Timothy Gillen. “We’re all happy he’s coming home, we all want to help him when and where we can, and we’d love to see him out at the field when he’s feeling up for it.”

For the younger players at Lafayette, the show of support has reinforced the idea that the bonds made on the team survive graduation. For the older players, many of whom grew up with Jared or played alongside him, it’s been hard to see an old friend and teammate go through what Jared has, and they’re happy they’ll be able to do more for him now that he’s likely coming back to Williamsburg.

“We played together when I was younger, in travel ball, and for a year and a half at Lafayette,” said third baseman Ricky Sullivan. “It’s been hard for everyone, for everyone in the community that knew him, something awful like this couldn’t have happened to a nicer person.”

Though the car wash to raise money for Jared had been planned for some time, with his likely homecoming this month, it’s given the team a bit of urgency to really make a splash with the car wash this weekend. More than that though, the team is ready to greet an old friend as he’s coming home and ready to show that they’re still there for an old teammate when he needs them.

“He was a great friend, always very positive, very uplifting, and there were never any dull moments with him, it’s gonna be great just to be able to see him again,” said pitcher Geo Rivera. “We’re all happy to do what we can, and we just want everyone to come out, give a little for Jared, because every little bit will help him and his family

Want to help?

The Lafayette baseball team will run a car wash to raise money for Jared Antle from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 20 at the Citizens and Farmers Bank, 4780 Longhill Road. All donations made will be given to the Antle family.

Those unable to make the car wash are encouraged to donate directly toward Jared Antle’s recovery at their gofundme page, gofundme.com/support-jared.

Sean CW Korsgaard can be reached at 757-968-1529, by email sean.korsgaard@vagazette.com, and on Twitter @SCWKorsgaard.

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