Team spreads more than joy of baseball

  By Tim Chambers
  star staff
  tchambers@starhq.com
  The Elizabethton Twins are in the thick of a pennant race, but for three team members, they also face a battle in their everyday life.
  Steven Duguay, David Winfree and Javier Sanchez are not only providing the city of Elizabethton some outstanding baseball play on the field, but are proving to be role models for the youth of Carter County in their walk of life for Christ.
  Duguay is one of the top hurlers in the Appy League and hails from Fleetwood, N.C., a small community just on the outskirts of Boone.
  Winfree has proven his worth at third base with some clutch hitting down the stretch, including a towering home run last Wednesday night against the Johnson City Cardinals that broke the game open.
  Winfree hails from Pungo, Va., within a rock's throw of Virginia Beach.
  Sanchez is an outstanding defensive catcher from Miami. He's noted as a wizard with the glove, and possesses a cannon for an arm behind the plate.
  Rev. Harold Mains, a local minister and president of the Elizabethton Twins, took over the role of team chaplain in 1991 from former Elizabethton High School teacher and baseball coach Willie Church.
  "I gradually worked into the role and since 1995 have been very active in the role of team chaplain," Mains said.
  Duguay had an inspiring message for everyone.
  "Without God in my life, I wouldn't be where I am right now," he said. "Just being here in Elizabethton, getting drafted by the Twins and meeting Preacher Mains has been huge blessings in my life."
  Winfree indicated not only did he want to perform well on the field for the Twins, but wanted people off the field to see the importance of Christ in his everyday life.
  "I just don't want people to remember me as a good baseball player but as someone who loves God and tries to serve him to the best of my ability," he said.
  Winfree added: "Every young person has role models, but the most important figure in my life is God himself."
  With minor league baseball being so demanding, Sanchez spoke of how important it was to give God his dues.
  "This is like working a 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. job, but it's just as important to mix our religious beliefs in with baseball," he said. "Although I am Catholic, I've learned that there are many churches around here, but most importantly there is only one God."
  Sanchez stated that many things Mains has taught him in chapel have proven to be valuable lessons for him.
  "I look at my faith as a muscle," said Sanchez. "When my arm is sore, I have to come out here and work it out, and when things in my Christian life are not going good, I've got to work them out as well."
  When I asked the trio what they would always remember most about Elizabethton, each indicated the people.
  "It seems like everyone around here is friendly," said Winfree. "These people show their love for us regardless of how we perform."
  Duguay added: "I was dealing with some issues when I got here, but through Preacher Mains and my teammates, this has been very special."
  Sanchez said, "The coaches in the clubhouse, Preacher Mains, his son Mike, the trainers and all the fans have been so special to me this season. I will always be thankful for each of them."
  Perhaps God is smiling down at this very moment upon the Elizabethton Twins because of three young men and their faith, happy that they continue to spread more than just baseball.