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Cowboys honor slain player Josh Pipho

Ceremony kicks off baseball season

Posted: March 8, 2009 1:33 a.m.
Updated: March 8, 2009 4:30 a.m.

Ryan Pipho, 24, wears his brother's No. 3 Canyon High School baseball jersey for a ceremony Saturday morning. Joshua Pipho was killed during a brawl outside a Stevenson Ranch residence in 2007.

 
Ryan Pipho took his brother's No. 3 Canyon High School baseball jersey out of the closet and put it on Saturday morning.

It felt right to wear it for a short, simple ceremony held at Canyon's baseball field for his slain brother, Joshua Pipho.

A small group of family members, including the boys' great-grandmother, Friendly Valley resident Virginia Shunn, came to the baseball field to see the dedication of a plaque to Joshua Pipho, who was murdered Nov. 24, 2007, in Stevenson Ranch.

"It's been tough," said Ryan, 24. "He was like my best friend.

"It hurts not only for my family, but all families going through this situation."

The small, bronze plaque rests on the outer side of the Canyon baseball dugout. It reads: "In memory of Josh Pipho, Class of 2005, Cowboy baseball."

Pipho played varsity baseball at Canyon in 2004 and 2005.

The Canyon baseball booster club, its coaching staff and team came up with the idea of the plaque.

Canyon assistant baseball coach Scott Willis, who has returned to the squad after a two-year absence, coached Joshua.

"I remember the fire he brought to the field," Willis said. "You could not slow him down."

Ryan, who also played for Canyon baseball, threw out a ceremonial first pitch Saturday before the Cowboys' game against Crespi.

Organizers of the memorial event wanted the ceremony to coincide with the Cowboys' first home game this season.

Pipho was killed during a brawl outside a party at a Stevenson Ranch residence. Charged with his murder is Michael Stephens, 19, whose trial is expected to resume April 7.

Ryan said he thinks about his brother every day. And he's learned from the tragedy.

"You have to forgive no matter what," he said. "We all live in a little regret over what happened."

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