LAKE NORMAN, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Coaches for the Lake Norman U8 All-stars said when they heard the first shot, they thought it was fireworks.
“He saw the people running, I turned and saw them run and of course, you think immediately, ‘Hey, this is the stuff you see on social media, stuff you see on the news,'” said Josh Knipp, a coach for Lake Norman. “And it hit us, it actually impacted us.”
The team was playing in the North Carolina Little League State Tournament in Wilson, N.C. Three shots were fired, according to Wilson Police. One of those shell casings was found on a field close-by.
“You could see it in the dads’ eyes,” said Lake Norman coach, Steve Treffiletti. “There were no second thoughts of what the consequences could have been by running into what we were running into.”
Lake Norman was not the only team playing at the time. The Bull City U-8 team were playing on a different field. That is where Bull City coach, Chris Breslin, laid on top of a child to cover them from the gunfire and then listened to how terrified the child was.
“‘I don’t want to play baseball,'” Breslin said the child told him. “‘Is the bad man coming, I’m scared,’ and it was terrible.”
“That’s a memory, a picture that will be engrained with me forever,” said Treffiletti. “It was something you don’t wish on your worst enemy. to see these boys buried under that bench with their mamas protecting them.”
Lake Norman withdrew from the tournament and ended the night bowling. Coaches say there’s two things they want to do for the players, one, always be there for them.
“Hey, come talk to us,” said Knipp. “You’re going to have some emotions over the next couple days, weeks, months. Come talk with us, you know.”
And two, making people run because of shots fired is not how the season ends.
“We’re going to keep moving forward,” added Treffiletti. “We’re going to be honest and upfront with the boys and we’re going to protect them the best we can but we’re not going to let something like this take us down.”
It won’t be the last game for the Lake Norman U-8 All-Stars. Coaches say they don’t want the season to end like this, so they are going to play a game just for fun this Thursday against Weddington on Thursday at Myers Park.