On Oct. 23, the Underwood Youth Baseball team is hoping to see a swarm of blue during what will now be the inaugural Sgt. Nick Risner Memorial Tournament.
One Shoals youth baseball program is showing its appreciation for Sheffield Police Sgt. Nick Risner with an upcoming tournament on the fields where he once coached his daughter.
On Oct. 23, the Underwood Youth Baseball team is hoping to see a swarm of blue during what will be the inaugural Sgt. Nick Risner Memorial Tournament.
“I started at 15, umpiring at Underwood, and at that time, Sgt. Risner was a coach for a 6u softball team that his daughter, Ally, played on,” Aly Hooks, a board member with Underwood, said.
Risner was shot in the line of duty Friday and died from his injuries Saturday. Hooks said for years, Risner was an important part of the Underwood youth baseball family.
“He coached out there for at least seven,” she said. “… He coached Ally, and we watched him move up with her from Sweeties all the way up to 12u while they were a part of our Underwood family. So, he logged in a lot of hours out there, working with kids and just putting in his time as a volunteer, and it was awesome to see.”
Even though he left coaching years ago, the Underwood family never forgot Risner. Now, the memorial tournament in honor of the fallen officer will be an annual way to honor him, with all the proceeds from the tournament going to his family.
“He was out there not only with his child, making memories with her, but with other children,” Hooks said. “You know, being a role model, being a mentor, doing what it took to give back to his community. And that’s just what he’s about, and we feel like that’s the least we can do to organize a tournament in his honor so that we could give back to what he stood for.”
Hooks said they want it to be a “blued-out game.” There will be flags, and the players will wear blue armbands to honor Risner.
The game isn’t the only thing the program is looking to do to honor him.
Michelle Murphy, a board member with the Underwood youth baseball program, said they plan to “memorialize one of our fields for Sgt. Risner so that for generations to come they’ll be able to see him immortalized at Underwood.”