Trevor Sherrard’s Team Spirit

This past spring, kids with special needs gathered every Thursday evening for a friendly game of baseball. Now the local league’s founder is getting ready to expand with a fall season

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Chandra Rivers and her son Bohdi;   Trevor Sherrard and his son Johnny. Photo by Paul Piasecki
Chandra Rivers and her son Bohdi; Trevor Sherrard and his son Johnny. Photo by Paul Piasecki

Trevor Sherrard credits his 8-year-old son, Johnny, with changing his life. Born and raised in Stuart, Sherrard, 38, moved to Denver in 2012 and was working four jobs just to make ends meet. He met his wife, Kayla, while working one of those jobs, and in 2016 their first son was born. Johnny is nonverbal autistic.

“When we had Johnny, I realized there was no way I could be a bouncer and a bowling alley attendant and work at the dump and provide for my son,” says Sherrard. Between checking IDs at the club where he worked as a bouncer, Sherrard began studying for the LSAT, hoping to get into law school. He passed, and he even earned a scholarship to St. Thomas University in Miami. In 2020, he graduated with honors and joined his father’s firm, Sherrard Law Group, the following year.

Bentley Doyle runs with assistant coach Niki Arnoff. Photo by Paul Piasecki
Bentley Doyle runs with assistant coach Niki Arnoff. Photo by Paul Piasecki

This past April, Sherrard and his wife founded The Miracle League of Martin County, a local chapter of the national nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for children with special needs to play baseball. Thirty-two kids participated in the organization’s inaugural season, which kicked off the evening of April 4 at Sailfish Park and ended with a closing ceremony May 23. Planning for a fall season is in full swing.

Sherrard’s goal is to give kids like his son the same opportunities as any other child. “We had a very difficult time finding something our son enjoyed doing,” he says. Johnny did love baseball, but being special needs, he wasn’t able to play in the local leagues around Martin County, says Sherrard. He had heard about The Miracle League of Palm Beach County, and the family would make the commute so Johnny could participate. But with two other young children at home, the distance was challenging.

Sisters Danielle Trudeau and Ellie Trudeau. Photo by Paul Piasecki
Sisters Danielle Trudeau and Ellie Trudeau. Photo by Paul Piasecki

“It didn’t make sense why Palm Beach County was able to have this program, which was so successful, and we didn’t have that,” says Sherrard. So he contacted the corporate offices of The Miracle League and filled out the paperwork necessary to start a Martin County chapter.

The ball games aren’t just an opportunity for kids to play but also for locals to get involved with the special needs community. At the games, each player is paired up with a volunteer or “buddy” who helps the player get up to the plate and swing the bat. Every child bats twice and gets a home run. There are no outs. Says Sherrard: “At the end of the game, we all do a victory lap.”

Joshua Trudeau runs the bases. Photo by Paul Piasecki
Joshua Trudeau runs the bases. Photo by Paul Piasecki

Stuart resident Chandra Rivers says the experience has been life-changing for her 11-year-old son, Bohdi, who has severe nonverbal autism and drug-resistant epilepsy. “Families of those with neurodivergent children struggle in Martin County to find therapies, camps, activities, and sports for their kids,” she says. “I can’t even convey how much it means to families like mine to watch their child run the bases and hear the cheering from the stands.”

Miracle League games are open to the public, and volunteers and donations are always needed and appreciated. “My goal is to raise funds to expand and make this as big as I can,” says Sherrard.

Learn more and register as a player or volunteer at miracleleagueofmc.org.

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