Good sportsmanship is, of course, being a team player and also being available to help an opponent at times. Being a good Samaritan is helping a man back to his feet when he falls down.
One local community has taken both of these one step further.
Guy residents boast being from a “small town with a big heart.” As you head into the small town on the outskirts of Faulkner County, you’re greeted with a sign that reminds motorists of the town’s motto.
On the weekends, many residents come together alongside those from neighboring communities to play ball. During the summer months, these individuals come together to host fundraising tournaments on behalf of the school’s sports team. Recently, the town came together to showcase a softball tournament that aimed to raise money for the Guy-Perkins Lady T-Birds softball team.
It was a normal day … until someone got hurt.
The tight-knit community was shaken when one of its own left the tournament early for a hospital visit.
Dustin Hayes is well known in the community. He graduated from Guy-Perkins High School and has served as a referee at high school games since he graduated. While he served in the U.S. Army, he put volunteering as a referee on hold. However, when his military career ended, his referee nights picked back up where they left off. Hayes’ father has been a Guy-Perkins educator for the past 27 years.
Area residents made it clear Hayes has left a strong impact in their community and that they consider him family.
When the Greenbrier resident was hit in the face and injured while supporting the small community, the neighborhood decided to band together and support him.
Hayes was playing on one of the co-ed softball teams when he was injured earlier this month. He was running toward second base when he was struck in the face by a softball traveling at 75 mph. The harsh impact caused Hayes to fall unconscious.
Scared and concerned, those at the field dialed 911. Before he left to go to Conway Regional Medical Center, Hayes lost consciousness a few more times.
The community’s strong bond has not gone unnoticed, as residents have since organized a benefit softball tournament on Hayes’ behalf. The Greenbrier man had to undergo reconstructive surgery following the freak accident — as area residents have described it.
The fundraising tournament is scheduled to take place Sept. 21 at Guy City Park.
Those organizing the event have said they feel it’s the least they can do to help.
This act shows true sportsmanship from those who witnessed this tragedy. It also shows these individuals are willing to step up and help others as a team. It’s inspiring to know this group is willing to come together and enjoy one of the activities it loves most while supporting one of the individuals who have helped to build the love the community shares.
The next time you drive through the small town of Guy, Arkansas, know the sign greeting you as you enter city limits is no made-up motto. These individuals are always happy and willing to reach out and extend a helping hand. Guy truly is "a small town with a big heart."