Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Coach's Influence: An event they will never forget.

Teams share the burden and divide the grief.
~Doug Smith
A real team is more like a family.  They care for one another beyond basketball.  
The game brings them together, along with the spirit of competition...
but it's real life that bonds a group of boys and makes them brothers. 

I posted about the loss of David Rexroat the other day.  David's youngest son, Andrew, played basketball with our Austin and they are dear friends.  We had the privilege of witnessing the precious way that Coach Brad Chasteen and his wife Kathy helped the basketball team love and support Andrew.  
Brad and Kathy invited all the boys over for a brunch before the funeral.  
Andrew came by the house and the boys hugged him and made him laugh and they ate egg casserole and drank chocolate milk together. 
 There were moments where everything seemed normal, but the starched shirts and ties anchored us in the weight of reality; Andrew had just lost his Daddy.
That's how it is with grief.  It comes in waves.  

Coach said a beautiful prayer....
I put the team in the back yard for a picture...
And we followed each other to the funeral. 
The boys sat in solidarity, filling two rows at the front of the church.
The boys presence impacted all of us.  We watched as tissues were passed around and the boys comforted each other.  As they filed out of the sanctuary, I knew this was a day they would never, ever, forget. Because they have a coach who understands that his job is much more than running plays on the court, the boys have now learned how to show up for each other in the game of life. 
If you are a coach, or know someone who is, pass this along to them.  This is a beautiful way to handle a difficult situation with love and grace.

And in the words of the late David Rexroat, 
when you play on a team with people you love,  
"A win is a win, and a loss is a win!"
David Rexroat with his daughter, Laura, at a CHS basketball game.

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