Mar 24

Unknown Power- Sports Talk With Anthony Bonelli And More

We as individuals sometimes do not appreciate the power or influence certain things can have on us. Let me give you a personal example to better explain what I mean by this, since I have become a coach I have gained a better appreciation for sports. I now understand that sports have a way of teaching a person or a team life lessons, and also how they can help a group of people overcome adversity.

In December of 2013 my grandmother passed away, shortly after that I began my first season as an Assistant Varsity Baseball Coach at Warren Hills Regional High School, my alma mater, losing my grandmother was very difficult for me and years later it still is. I have known Head Varsity Baseball Coach Mike Quinto for 16 years, he was my 7th grade Study Skills Teacher and during my high school years, 9th grade through 12th grade I was a Statistician for the baseball team, that being said Coach Quinto knew how much I was hurting because of the loss of my grandmother. One day Coach Quinto and I were talking on Facebook and I wrote Coach I am really struggling because I miss my grandma, in response to that he wrote something I will never forget, baseball will make everything okay. Little did I know two seasons later that statement would become even truer.

Evan Murray came into my life two years ago; he was a member of the baseball team, the same baseball team who helped me through the healing process after losing my grandma. Evan was also the Quarterback of the football team and a valuable member of the basketball team. On September 25 Evan tragically passed away due to a lacerated Spleen which he suffered while playing Quarterback for his beloved Blue Streaks. This news was understandably devastating to the entire Warren Hills Blue Streaks’ community especially for the people that knew Evan as well I did. Evan was a tremendous athlete, a great leader, and a fine young man.

Prior to every season that I coach I say to myself that I want to learn something new not necessarily about coaching, sometimes I say that I want to learn something new about life. Baseball season just started on March 4 and I can already say I am starting to learn about how a team bonds together in the face of adversity. Every season brings its own challenges, and I knew that this season would be emotionally challenging for me, because of the fact that Evan would not be with us. At the same time I knew that I would become mentally and spiritually stronger during this season

Every day, as I stare at the white flag whipping in the wind with Evan’s blue number 7 on it, which hangs over our baseball field, I smile because I remember a tall lanky Right-Handed Pitcher with an infectious smile. I am not going to say that some days have not been tough, but what helps me through those tough days is the statement Coach Quinto wrote just two seasons ago, baseball will make everything okay

In every blog that I write in my final paragraph I like to reiterate what I think is the important message in that particular blog. I ask every reader of this blog to not be close minded and let certain things teach you what they may. I feel too many times individuals including myself are too focused on what we need to know and do not appreciate what we could learn from certain things as long as we are open to learning new things.

In loving memory of Evan Murray #18STRONG