Schray stands out in Little League
Emily Schray not afraid of being only female in little league
The first time Emily Schray swung at a ball she knocked it clean in half.
It was a wiffle ball but she still knocked it in half, and it helped give the 10-year-old Lake Oswego girl a dose of confidence as she prepared for a summer of playing as the only girl in the National League division of Lake Oswego Little League. That's right, of the 77 players in the league all of the others are boys.
A fourth grader at Forest Hills Elementary, Emily is a sweet and demure little girl, and it probably wasn't that long ago she gave up playing with dolls. But now she is going to put it all on the line for the Paulsons (named after sponsor Paulson's Floor Coverings), who are coached by her dad Ian Schray. He is thrilled about having his daughter in the lineup.
"I think it's cool that I'm her coach," Schray said. "Emily's enthusiasm is equal to anybody's on the team. The fact that she's a girl should be no factor. The kids treat her like a teammate, which is the point."
"I'm proud of her," said Darcy Schray, Emily's mother. "She's walked right in and held her head high."
Still, some allowances must be made. Except for some gymnastics and rock climbing, this is Emily's first real venture into sports.
"We've had to go over a lot of fundamentals," her dad said.
Emily thinks baseball is just the right sport for her.
"I don't want to be in a sport where people get all sweaty and beat each other up," she said.
One of her teammates will be giving Emily special support: her 8-year-old brother Jimmy. Despite his youth, Jimmy is a three-year baseball veteran. He has a Pete Rose cut to his jaw and his eyes become intense when he talks about baseball. He can be a lot of help to his sister because he will be playing center field while Emily is in right field.
"I like playing with her," Jimmy said. "I'm really proud of her."
Emily hopes they will always be teammates.
"I don't want to play against Jimmy," she said. "That would be strange."
The other league coaches thought it was strange when Schray informed them that Emily would be a member of his team. "They were caught off guard," Schray admitted, but they soon accepted the idea. After all, in the past there have been some female players in the league.
"It's going to be fun, it will be really great," Schray said. "The parental support is great. They're cheering loud for everyone out there."
Emily got off to a good start. In her first game she drew a walk and later scored a run.
It looks like the whole Schray family will be having a great season in 2014.
"It's going to be fun coaching my two kids," Schray said.Add a comment