Mr. Bobby gives back

Published 3:17 pm Friday, August 8, 2008

By By STEVE FRANKLIN, Sports Writer
To Washington Recreation Athletic Director Bobby Andrews, softball is more than just a game. It’s the one thing that keeps his heart pumping.
Andrews, who has served as the primary sports liaison for the Washington Recreation Department for more than a quarter century, the last decade has been difficult.
In 1998, his son was murdered in a home intrusion in Washington. Four years later, his beloved wife passed away. And just last year, his mother died.
But each time, Andrews leaned on the young girls of Beaufort County for support. And each time, they’ve picked him up.
Andrews has certainly done a lot for the folks of Beaufort County. In particular, those in the softball community. More than 20 years ago, he started the Washington Recreation Department Girl’s Softball League and has had his hand in building the area’s adult leagues.
His biggest achievement, however, might be the tournament that bears his name.
Eight years ago, Manuel Housley, a former girls’ softball coach and an instructor at Beaufort County Community College, decided to start a softball tournament to help girls with the rising cost of education. He also wanted to honor Andrews. Thus, the Bobby Andrews Softball Scholarship Tournament was born.
To date, the tournament has produced 32 scholarships and raised more than $60,000 to help former Washington Recreation softball players pursue their college degrees.
On Thursday, at the opening ceremonies of the eighth annual tournament, 11 area girls were honored. Those receiving scholarships were, Samantha Mobley (BCCC), Allison Bright (BCCC), Ashley Congleton (BCCC), Heather Cherry (BCCC), Brittany Banks (BCCC), Lauren Allen (Peace CC), Lauren Rodriguez (Campbell), Marissa Fucito (Pitt CC), Susan Braddy (East Carolina), Kendall Cox (UNC-Wilmington) and Casey Alligood (UNC).
This year’s tournament will feature five age groups and 25 teams, and will run through Sunday.