For the love of the game: Challenger player takes the field

Published 10:32 am Tuesday, June 4, 2024

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By Amanda Watkins

For the Enterprise

For boys who eat, sleep and breathe baseball, Davie Little League is making it happen. Every Monday night, Davie Little League’s Challenger Team takes the field to play its game. But for some, it doesn’t stop there. Over the last couple of years, their volunteer board members have worked with coaches of the regular season teams to have a Challenger Player Guest play during a game.

On May 13, Challenger Player Owen Wall played in his game with his team at 6 p.m. But it didn’t end there. For a kid who has a passion for the game, he celebrated his eighth birthday by joining with the Minor Braves in their game at 7:30 p.m. He warmed up, took grounders and said the pledge alongside his new teammates. His new teammates were just as excited to have him join, welcoming him with open arms and hugs all around.

As safety precautions were taken, Owen stepped up to the plate to lead off hitting. All the fans in the stands chanted his name as he swung for the fences. Once he singled, he took base after base, even sliding into the bases and at home plate. For a kid who has cerebral palsy, visual impairments and developmental delays, he was a rockstar. He also took to the field on defense with a player standing guard beside him, just in case that line drive came in too hard.

A normally shy kid came out of his shell and was on cloud nine all night long, doing what he loves the most – playing baseball … with his team, both teams.

And he’s not alone. Last season, Challenger teammate Hayden Reavis took to the field with the Major Braves, as is his season tradition. Not only does he look forward to his season game, his team looks forward to it as well and play the best they ever play when he’s part of the team.

Davie Little League has grown their Challenger Team to over 35 players from counties all around. All for the love of the game. You can meet their players and learn their individual stories at: ( They will play every Monday through June, and the District 2 Challengers are raising funds for a trip to play at the Little League Regionals. You can find the donation link on DLL’s website & facebook page.

More About Owen Wall

Owen was diagnosed with Ventriculomegaly of brain while still in utero, essentially meaning he had a larger volume of fluid on his brain than normal. This led to the brain not fully developing as it should. Owen’s primary diagnosis is Cerebral Palsy. He has motor delay and lacks physical ability of his peers due to this. In addition, Owen has visual impairments which include low lids and a “lazy eye” and needs his vision corrected with glasses. Finally, Owen has a general cognitive delay compared to kids his age and is working through learning and behavior goals while navigating ADHD.

Owen loves all sports but he eats, sleeps and breathes baseball. He loves cheering for his two favorite teams, the Atlanta Braves and Baltimore Orioles. He also enjoys supporting local college teams and the Carolina Disco Turkeys. He has visited eight different MLB ballparks and has seen 17 different MLB teams play.

Owen is also his sister’s biggest fan when she plays softball, soccer and basketball. And, in turn, she is his biggest fan during Challengers games and when he competes in Special Olympics events.

“Owen began competing in Challengers through Northwest Forsyth Little League in the fall of 2021 and has continued there since,” Mark Wall said. “This is his first season with Davie Challengers. We are very thankful for this Little League division and all the volunteers and sponsors that make it possible.”