DAYTON, Ohio - Pyper Sharkins, 10, sang the national anthem before the Dayton Dragons baseball game on Aug. 19 at Fifth Third Field.
Pyper is the daughter of Parkersburg South High School graduate Shari Sharkins of West Milton, Ohio, and Tony Sharkins of Dublin, Ohio. Pyper's grandparents are Gib and Marsha Jackson of Washington, W.Va.
The Jacksons and other relatives were in the stands, along with several thousand Dragons' fans, for the minor league baseball game. The Dragons are a Class A team in the Midwest League and are affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds.
Pyper Sharkins, 10, sings the national anthem at Fifth Third Field in Dayton before a Dayton Dragons minor league baseball game on Aug. 19.
Fifth Third Field can seat 7,230 people, and most of the Dragons games are sold out.
Pyper, who celebrated her 10th birthday on Aug. 15, was selected to sing the national anthem after two days of auditions, which attracted 500 contestants, at local malls. All ages of people auditioned for the singing part.
Pyper did an amazing job singing at home plate at the Dayton ballpark, her proud mother said. Shari admitted she was nervous before the singing event.
"She did a beautiful job singing," said Marsha Jackson.
Pyper memorized the national anthem and sang without any accompaniment.
It was the first time she had sung by herself before such a large crowd.
Pyper has no formal singing training, although she sings at the Christian school she attends and has sung at Lubeck United Methodist Church in Wood County, when visiting the Jacksons.
Pyper is auditioning to sing with the worship team at her school. She has taken tap, ballet and modern dance classes, her mother said.
Shari Sharkins, Class of 1989 at Parkersburg South High, was vice president of entertainment for Mandalay Baseball Properties, which owns the Dayton Dragons and other minor league baseball teams, for 12 years. She is now marketing and promotions director for Clear Channel Media and Entertainment in Dayton.