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Wakulla County to Battle for athlete Lyric Oaks

Posted at 6:34 PM, Mar 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-03 18:34:50-05

CRAWFORDVILLE, Fla. (WTXL) — Lyric Oaks took his senior photos doing something he loved, wakesurfing. It was a fun way to brighten up the end of a COVID shortened senior year.

Oaks was seriously injured in a car accident in February. He's still battling to get better. Friday night, his community will battle with him, as "Fielding for Lyric" is the main attraction in Wakulla County.

"The ball came off and I went to catch it, and I almost caught it," laughed Donny Bennett. "I literally turned to everybody on the field, and said that's a new rule!"

The idea for a new sport came to Bennett by chance. BattleBall was born. Similar rules to slowpitch softball, but the main mission? Sharing the gospel through athletics.

"We go through so many things as people, if I can encourage somebody through the love I have through God, you can encourage everyone," he said.

Which is why when Oaks, who was an athlete at Wakulla High School, was seriously injured in a car accident in February, BattleBall became the battleground for the community to help one of their own.

"This kid's battling right now," said Bennett. "What a better way to introduce Battle 14 than right there to encourage and love on Lyric. This has been straight God putting on my heart to do this, and every second of it so far has been something I'll never forget."

Everything from food, drinks, and the fields is donated. Every dollar spent at Friday night's Battleball "Fielding for Lyric" Tournament goes straight to Oaks and his family.

"I could care a less if BattleBall goes down. If the weather is horrible, we're still going to do this out here. This is all, the community has done this."

A community on a mission.

"A lot of people want to leave home, then there's a lot of people that love home," said Bennett. "Wakulla's just a good place."

A place where the word is heard, and the battle is shared. Oaks is currently at Shands Pediatric Hospital in Gainesville. His parents released this statement to ABC 27.

"Lyric’s journey thus far is as difficult as they come and the path ahead is unknown. We continue to be grateful for his medical teams as well as the support our family, friends and community have shown from day one. Most of all, we continue to be hopeful and amazed by Lyric’s strength and will to persevere."

"Fielding for Lyric" is from 6-11 at Medart Recreation Complex.