SALEM, Va. — It was anything but a regular Friday morning for Tom Huffman, a volunteer assistant softball coach for Bridgewater (Va.) College. Huffman was with the Eagles softball team for the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Tournament last week when he noticed something was amiss in front of the team hotel.
“I just walked outside from the hotel front lobby and there were two buses parked in the parking lot,” Huffman said. “The back of one bus was on fire with the bus driver sitting in his seat doing his paperwork. I went and told him the bus was on fire. He grabbed the fire extinguisher and tried to put it out, but it was too big for that.”
Luckily for Guilford College, Huffman is a former volunteer fire fighter. Hotel staff was immediately instructed to call the local fire department while Huffman and the driver for the Guliford softball team removed the team equipment from the burning bus.
“We [saw] some equipment in the storage bins in the bottom of the bus,” Huffman said. “We started throwing equipment out in the driveway. It wasn’t difficult and there wasn’t any heat or smoke in that area.”
With the bus out of commission, Guilford had problem: how would it get to the field for its consolation game?
No fear. Sportsmanship came into play as Bridgewater coach Donnie Fulk offered the Guilford squad a ride — alongside his team — to the Moyer Complex in order to get the 11 a.m. contest.
And the Quakers’ opponent? The same Bridgewater team they rode with to the ballpark.
Once at the field, Bridgewater got back into game mode and won the contest 4-2, knocking the Quakers out of the tournament. Guilford had a replacement bus waiting for the ride home while Bridgewater won its afternoon contest before being sent home with a consolation loss that night.