Coming together to honour the life of Keegan Hill is what the CLASSIC 49 Keegan Hill Memorial 3-pitch tournament is all about.
Hill, who excelled in all sports, and was extremely popular in the Six Nations Community, passed away on June 13, 2011. Shortly afterwards good friend Cameron Sault and Keegan’s close cousin Stacy decided to honour Keegan’s legacy by hosting this tournament which sees all the proceedings going to assist Keegan’s son Konnor.
“Entry fee each year is $150.00. Keegan’s parents Greg and Lynn help out so much each year and it’s great to just be around them all weekend,” Sault said. “His brothers Paul and James, as well as his aunties, are also there all weekend to help out and it wouldn’t run as smoothly without them.” Currently, no definite decisions have been made on the fate of what would be the ninth year of the annual CLASSIC 49 Keegan Hill Memorial 3-pitch tournament, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sault, who played sports and grew up with Hill, had some high praise when reflecting on what he was like as a person.
“Keegan was one of a kind. Everything from his smile and his laugh, to his willingness to lend a helping hand and his caring personality,” Sault said. “He was funny, loved to chirp and would be there at the drop of a hat if you needed him. He was a great athlete and even better person. Lacrosse and hockey were his main sports but he also played a lot of golf, baseball, volleyball, basketball and road hockey.”
The team called Forty Nine’z are made up of Keegan’s family members and close friends, such as Sault. They always organize this once a year tournament; and are responsible for things like umpiring, tournament rules and scheduling for these games which take place on the Six Nations diamond. “It’s a double knockout style tourney and can get pretty competitive come Sunday,” Sault said. “Of course, everyone is there to have fun but winning is always more fun then losing. We have some skilled ball players in the community, so it makes for some entertaining baseball to watch in the name of Keegan.” Over the years, this tournament has grown. In recent years they have had 16 teams participating all in the name of honouring Keegan’s legacy. “It’s a great feeling to just sit back on Saturday, mid-afternoon, watching and listening to everyone around the diamond laugh, cheer, and exchange in conversation while the sun in shining. I consider those moments the reason we host the tournament, to have fun and smile in the name of Keeg.” Keegan’s son Konnor, who will turn 11 in September, is always present at these tournaments and enthusiastically helping out. “When you look at Konnor, you can’t help but think of Keeg,” Sault said. “Their smiles are almost identical.”