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July 19, 2018

6/22/2018 11:35:00 AM
Ottoway switches uniforms quickly for a very good reason

When the Mineral Point baseball team raced onto Neuroscience Field in Appleton last Wednesday one of the players was no doubt a little happier than the rest.
That was because he almost was unable to be there.
After playing a big role in the many areas that go into making it to the state tournament Uriah Ottoway was sitting silent in the bus coming back from their Sectional championship while his teammates were celebrating. He was going to be playing for a much bigger team while the Pointers were making their state tourney appearance. That team is the US Army.
You see, Uriah enlisted in the National Guard and is attached to the unit in Baraboo. His plan was to go to basic and advanced training this summer so when he returns for his senior year he would not have to interrupt his baseball season. It was a good plan, that is until the Pointers won the Sectionals.
For Uriah the game day at state and his departure date for training were both the same day. His goal is to be trained in all phases of engineering and perhaps make a 20 year commitment.
For Uriah it was a hard thing to have to face as the state tournament appearance could be a once in a lifetime thing. But as he thought about it he realized he had signed a contract with the military and he planned to honor it.
While it was the right decision it was still hard for the young man to face his team playing at state and him not being there to help.
There was a small chance something could be done and his recruiting sargeant said he would do what he could.
So, Sgt. Peter Thies started a letter through the chain of command. It went a long way through the chain, all the way to the Pentagon.
"A three star general read it,
Uriah said. "He looked at the training cycle and decided I could stay and play and still get to the base on time."
Uriah immediately Snap-Chatted his team and let them know, in capitol letters no less, that he could play.
"He was pretty bummed about it on the way home," said coach Jordan Tibbits. "But he got good news. We are all glad he got to play."
Instead of running around a military parade field Wednesday Uriah was able to run out on what that day was the Field of Dreams for the Pointers. They played a good team and had a good effort before losing 4-0.
Uriah got to play and to celebrate the achievement with his friends.
Friday, though, it was back to his obligation as he switched his baseball uniform for his army clothes. His flight to basic training left at 9:40 a.m.

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