Silo Teens Testify During Baseball Coach Hearing - - No One Gets You Closer

Silo Teens Testify During Baseball Coach Hearing


DURANT, OK -- Teenagers take the stand in Bryan County to talk about what they say happened one afternoon at baseball practice.

Dozens turned out Wednesday morning for a preliminary hearing to determine if a Silo junior high baseball coach will go to trial on seven counts of injury to a child, and the hearing lasted all day.

Students from the 7th and 8th grade baseball team said in court that they'd returned from a bad performance against Hartshorne and were getting ready for a double-header against Kingston.

"He would have to throw the ball and they'd turn in and turn their shoulder and they would get hit in the shoulders," says Silo high school baseball team member Ethan Hollowell.

On the stand on Wednesday afternoon, one student testified about the practice on April 8. He describes practicing five hits at a junior coach's cage, and he made four good hits, but when the fifth wasn't deemed good enough, he was hit with a ball.

Next, when he went to the cage with coach Roy West, then 42, another hit wasn't good enough, and he says he got hit in the back again.

"They needed to work on their hitting and if they didn't 'square it up' and get a good hit, then they would have to turn around and take one," says Hollowell.

Investigators say parents started coming forward after the practice, but deputies were met with resistance from some of the parents, who believed west had done nothing wrong, according to court documents.

"We've stuck together as a family through this whole deal and we just want to see him walk away as a free innocent man. There was no malicious intent whenever they were in the batting cages and it's part of the game, you know, getting hit," says Hollowell.

Some students wore matching T-shirts with a hashtag symbol that they say are in support of their coach. "We support Coach West, we really do, and we know that he would do anything to be back on the field with us and we miss him as our coach," says Hollowell. "We've grown up here learning that that's how you play the game and that's just part of the game. You're gonna get hurt in anything."

Investigators say the 8th-grade players helped determine when another student needed to "take one." A total of seven out of a reported 42 witnesses got to testify and the hearing is set to continue on January 7.