A Coach's Bond

Today, I learned that one of my boys lost his battle. I fought every minute today to not show how much this was tearing me up. When my wife picked me up from work I could tell she knew I knew and not to bring it up. She waited for me to bring it up and kept it simple.

Blake Nichols was one of the strongest young men I have ever met. His spirt and soul warmed the field. He made tough games enjoyable and he was the perfect example on why we coach. We worked his ass off to get to where he was and even after fighting the battle for his life, I can remember the day he suited up and came on the field. Our season that year was tough to put it nice. But WE won, Blake was on that field! He beat cancers ass, and got back on the field.

Earlier this year we went to suppor the girls softball team as they were going to win the league with a win that day, and Blake was there. I can't find the words that discribe how amazing it felt to hug him and just chat, the pride that I had for him, the amazement of strength he had and the glow of his soul. As we left he yelled at me 'love you coach', and for me it was the nicest compiment I ever got.

Last month we delivered our toys up to Doernbecher from our Toy Drive. Jillian had a couple appointments as well. Out of chance we bumped into Blakes dad. Stunned to see him, we caught up on why and what was going on. His dad was very hopeful that Blake was going to rebound and be out of there soon. Looking back I regret not asking to go see him, rather than putting it in the back of my mind to message Blake later to catch up with him and maybe have lunch when he gets out.

My heart aches, and the anger is slowly going away. Just one more rep Blake!


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