Friday, 12 October 2018 05:02

RYP vs YPN:  A Healthy Rivalry Continues

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Richmond Young Professionals Defeat Scotland County "Rivals" Richmond Young Professionals Defeat Scotland County "Rivals" Photograph by Becky Pierce

LAURINBURG - Flashback to the night of Tuesday, September 11th – As area residents sat anxiously around their televisions following the path of Hurricane Florence, several members of the Richmond Young Professionals set their competitive sights on something a little more lighthearted. 

Instead of focusing on the uncertain weather of the future, they kept their word and decided it was time to settle the score on a battle from the past because, as it turns out, even the threat of a hurricane can’t put a damper on a friendly rivalry, especially when that rivalry involves kickball.

The Richmond Young Professionals and their Scotland County counterpart, the Young Professional s Network, are both organizations designed to provide networking, socializing, and philanthropic opportunities for their local 20-40 somethings. 

Although each organization has its own unique causes, events, and identity, they both share a passion for ongoing healthy competition in relation to their athletic capabilities.

The event, which was the third athletic contest between the two orgs, took place at the James L. Morgan Recreation Complex in Laurinburg on Tuesday, September 11th.  Festivities began around 6:30 p.m. with a period of inter-organizational mingling, which in turn slowly transitioned to whispers of subtle strategy amongst the members of each team.

Shortly after 7:00, things began to get serious as the captains gathered around home plate for the official coin toss and a clarification of the game’s rules.  The players simultaneously took the field, and it was game on.

From the moment the first pitch was rolled out, it was clear that both sides brought their “A” game to the night’s showdown.  Despite valiant offensive efforts by each team, neither side could break through the defensive barriers of their competition during the first two innings, locking the score at 0-0.  It wasn’t until the top of the third that RYP was able to knock in two runs to take the lead.

As the game progressed, the lights came on and the intensity turned up.

The middle innings of the battle royal were filled with impressive base kicks, skilled slides, high flying jumps, and diving catches from both competitors.

However, such attempts by the Scots were no match for the RYP offense, as the Richmond County org hit their stride and secured an 8-0 lead after the top of the fifth.

But things began to take a turn in the bottom of the fifth when YPN kicked a double that brought in their first two runs of the game.  Although not enough to take the lead, the much-needed runs were enough to steal the momentum away from RYP and close the gap to a respectable score of 8-2.

By the conclusion of the 6th, and originally intended to be the final inning, RYP had scored again and thus sat comfortably with a 7-run lead over YPN.  However, with a game filled by such excitement and enthusiasm, the innings flew by faster than either org had anticipated, leaving both sides wanting more.  So, after a quick conversation between the two captains, the decision was made to extend the game up to an MLB regulation length of nine innings.

YPN didn’t take this added time for granted and quickly dialed up the intensity even further, using every trick they had to catch RYP.  Although ultimately unsuccessful, the Scotland natives capitalized on a deep kick down the first base line to bring in two runs and put up the first home run of the night.  The remarkable kick was followed immediately by a triple, which lead to the procurement of an additional run and a new score of 9-7.

Uncomfortable with such a slim lead, RYP countered their rival with five final runs in the top of the eighth.  Followed then by a solid defensive half - inning, the Richmond Young Professionals were able to emerge victorious for the second year in a row.  The final score was 14 to 7.

However, regardless of the score or how serious each player takes this ongoing rivalry, the most important goal of the event was to make connections and further develop a sense of camaraderie between the two groups.  Therefore, the night was concluded with a huddle around home plate while each organization shared a few words about their upcoming events.  Players from RYP were then graciously invited over to YPN’s bleachers to enjoy light snacks, cold beverages, and conversation with new friends.

To find out how you can get involved in RYP or YPN events like these, follow each group on Facebook at Richmond Young Professionals and Young Professional Network Scotland.

Editor’s note:  Given the state of emergency and consequent need for immediate dissemination of information during and following Hurricane Florence, this article was not posted at the appointed time. 



Last modified on Thursday, 11 October 2018 21:29