Lax team shows support

Athletes help make life easier for coach after wife’s cancer diagnosis


Hannah Garrett, Reporter

Contrary to popular belief, sports are not all about winning, losing and how the game is played, but about competing and coming together as a family through tough times.
All of the SHS lacrosse team members have shown endless support for assistant coach Brian Thomas and his wife Amy, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in early November, 2016.
“They (the players) have been supportive in so many ways,” Thomas said, “Making sure that they let me know every practice that they are thinking and praying for my wife and my family.”
Going above and beyond and doing as much as they can to support Thomas and his family is what these players focus on doing. Whether it is taking his mind off of the situation, or just praying and being there for him and his wife, they always have his back.
According to some of the players, the team has built a good relationship with Coach Thomas while he has been here at SHS, these past two years. Going out of their way in order to support and help their coach and his family, as they know he would do the same for them, is nothing but second nature to them.
Not only did Thomas shave his entire head with his wife, but juniors Dustin Rittenberry and Eric Fisher shaved their heads too. This was in order to support Amy as she goes through her chemotherapy.
According to Fisher, Thomas began coaching during the transition of the coaching staff, and although they didn’t having a winning record (5-7), he has done well to help the team. Thomas worked one on one with Fisher a lot, and when Fisher heard what was happening, he decided that he really wanted to show his support by shaving his head with coach Thomas. This is a big way of saying thanks for all he has done for the team.
“We told him that we are here for him no matter what, and if he needs anything just to let us know.” Fisher said, “He’s there to help us, so we decided that we would be there to help him in this battle. He is family and family sticks together.”
Rittenberry decided to shave his head for Thomas because of more personal reasons. According to Rittenberry breast cancer really hits home because his grandmother passed away from it.
“It always makes me want to show support to anyone I know dealing with what I went through.” Rittenberry said.
Other than shaving their heads, the game of lacrosse itself really is what the players try to distract Thomas with. According to junior Jacob Tellas, the team tries not to focus so much on the negative, instead they try harder to please him by working hard and having fun. While they are playing the game it can easily cheer up Thomas and take his mind off of the situation.
“We try to not focus on it (the negative),” Rittenberry said.
By focusing on the positive and keeping a positive attitude at practices,the Lacrosse team shows that the support is always there for their coach, on and off the field, and it really means a lot to Thomas and his family too
“It makes us feel great,” Thomas said. “We’ve had tremendous support from the entire community, but coming from this group of boys, this is a special group of young men, so it feels especially good.”