Teammates lend support in times of tragedy

Team is important in the sense of supporting each other on the field of play. But sometimes it is the support provided when things happen off the field that show the true meaning and importance of teammates.
It has been a difficult stretch for area athletes and coaches having to deal with events that happened in their lives away from sports. But seeing how the teams have rallied around their teammates shows the bonds that are developed in sports.
Following last Friday’s football game, Somerset coach Bruce Larson presented game balls to two members of the team.
The first ball was given to assistant coach Chet Banger. This was Banger’s final game with the team before he begins his enlistment in the United States Army. Banger, a 2002 SHS graduate, volunteered to join the coaching staff in 2004, though he’d never played high school ball.
“Over that time he’s really done a lot for us,” Coach Larson said. “The kids love him.”
The second game ball was given to junior Austin Bushinger. Bushinger’s father, Terry, was killed in a car accident on Sept. 4 and his funeral was held hours before Friday’s game. Larson said the game ball was given to Bushinger as an indication that the team will be there to support him during this difficult time.
At Baldwin-Woodville High School, students have been dealing with the death of volleyball manager Alyssa Hagen, who was killed in a car accident on Aug. 21.
B-W High School Principal Eric Russell said the members of the Blackhawk volleyball team and the student body have rallied together since this tragedy. He said two of the girls on the volleyball team are daughters of ministers, so the churches have been a strong presence in helping the students deal with the loss.
At another area high school, a volleyball player is dealing with her father being sentenced to prison. The seniors on her team have rallied to take her under their wing to help her through this situation.
While strong team bonds are invaluable on the field, these situations have shown how young athletes have rallied to be true teammates in times of tragedy.

One thought on “Teammates lend support in times of tragedy

  1. Great observations about what it means to be on a “team”. It isn’t just about being on the field or court – but about the life lessons learned while being part of a group. Hopefully, these are the lessons that will be carried through life for all of us. Thanks for a great post.

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