ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Throwing out the first pitch before a St. Louis Cardinals game is just the first of many once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for Lauren Sowers and Emily Kerber.
At the end of June, they are headed to Saint Petersburgh, Russia, for the 5th annual Friendship for Football (F4F). The St. Louis-natives are the only two 12-year-olds in the country that were invited to participate.
F4F expanded from 32, to 64 countries, including the United States this year. Sowers and Kerber were selected, but next year there are plans to hold a more extensive tryout process. Sowers, who will play forward on the Green Team, plays for the West 75 Angles.
Kerber will be an international journalist, dedicated to documenting Sower’s performance in the games, and telling the story of both of their experiences. She was selected for having shown a strong interest in sports reporting.
And she may have a bit of an advantage on her fellow youth reporters, since her father is the voice of the St. Louis Blues, Chris Kerber.
Chris Kerber says Emily, and her two sisters are often in the broadcast booth at Scottrade Center during games. And Emily, or Grace as he calls her, is usually paying attention to her dad’s skills on the microphone and taking notes.
“Experiences like this are enlightening and they open up a whole new world for them,” Chris Kerber says. “And whether she ends up as a nurse, a teacher, in the broadcast field, the business world, who knows what it’s going to be, it’s just neat that they want to be apart of something like this.”
The F4F events stretch from June 26 to July 3 in Russia, but the St. Louis representatives will also head to Hawaii before the games, to visit the USS Missouri Memorial.
“Sometimes it’s a little overwhelming when you know that you got out of school and have stuff to do,” Emily Kerber said after photographing Sower’s first pitch at Busch Stadium. “But it’s going to be a lot of fun.”
Emily Kerber says what she enjoys most about sports reporting is telling the “amazing” stories that happen in sports events and the players who make them great.
“I don’t think you could have been chosen for this if you were too timid,” Chris Kerber says. “The girls are prepared for it, they are eager and excited. And, I’ll tell ya, and parents are going to understand what I’m talking about, kids are heck of a lot older these days than their age ever shows.”