As a coach who has attended the funerals of multiple players, taken far too young by suicide, murder, drug overdose, accidents and illness, it is never, ever is easy to watch or live things like this and I want to express my thoughts.
We look at our players and the vitality, commitment and zest for life they have and can never imagine having to say goodbye to them before their time, or hug a parent, sibling or teammate, with absolutely no words that can ease their pain. I just lay there in bed in tears watching this and thought of the names of our players over the years. Freddie, Josh, Billy, Chris, Jose, Trever, Daniel, all kids with a full life ahead of them, who like Ty and Aaron will never get a chance to experience their dreams, raise kids and make a positive impact on the world, which they were all capable of.
As coaches we put so much into the game, so many hours with these kids, mentoring, encouraging and pushing them to be their best and it hurts to lose them, because they become more than players to us. We spend more time with them than our own families during the season and it is not cliché to say that they all become our kids too, because they do. Thank you to ESPN for an excellent piece and more important, a reminder of what truly makes what we get to do as coaches so special. And that is the bond we develop and the joy we derive from our years with these kids. It is blessing that transcends rivalries, the results of a game, or how many yards you gain. It is the real reward of the profession and it makes all of us that do this better men for it.
So for Ty, Aaron and my players named above, who the world outside of our communities/schools will never know. You know them now and like two best friends from Utah, they are still missed by many every day and I love them all, so please if you pray for Ty and Aaron today, add their names to the prayer too.
This message has been modified
Originally posted on Oct 16, 2021 at 8:56:47am
Message modified by ALC on Oct 16, 2021 at 8:58:46am