Tourney deadline Tuesday

Published 8:24pm Friday, May 3, 2013

A softball tournament planned for a Northview graduate recently in a car accident is expected to raise more than $2,000 to help his family pay for medical expenses.

Registration for the Junior Classic ends Tuesday, said organizer Brad Lowery. The tournament, which has nine confirmed teams already, was organized to support University of West Florida student Mark Allen Shipps Jr. after an accident in March left him with intestinal damage, two broken femurs, bruised lungs and a fracture above his left eye.

Lowery, a former Northview classmate of Shipps, said his friend is “getting a lot better” and was sent home from the hospital after almost three weeks.

“He’s healing faster than they expected,” Lowery said. “He can get up and walk around on his own. He can get off the couch and use a walker.”

Lowery said he expects to see at least 15 teams compete in the tournament set for Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11.

“It’s about what I expected,” Lowery said of the turnout so far.

The tournament will take place at Bradberry Park in Davisville, Fla. as well as Northview High School. It will be double elimination format and teams must consist of 10-12 players with at least three women.

Lowery said there woule be trophies donated by Awards Master in Pensacola, Fla. for the winners.

Shipps was traveling west on Molino Road just east of Chestnut Road in the Molino community at about 3:31 a.m., when he crossed the eastbound lane of Molino Road and traveled onto the south shoulder of the roadway, according to a report released by the Florida Highway Patrol.

According to the report, Shipps’ vehicle, a 2002 Jeep Liberty, continued to travel on the grassy shoulder where the vehicle eventually hit a cement culvert and cement embankment head on and came to a final rest.

The entry fee is $150 per team and those interested can contact Lowery at 850-232-3205 or by e-mail at

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