Baseball helps grieving community heal

The community came together Friday night to honor 3 Wilson High School teens who died Thursday night in a car accident.

Posted: Apr 27, 2018 11:15 PM
Updated: May 1, 2018 9:54 AM

Dozens of parents and students part of the Wilson High School community were in Madison Friday night grieving as a community in one of the only ways they know how, by continuing to live life and going to sporting events as family.

Several Wilson High School baseball players rounded third Friday night and made their way home to score runs.

It pushed them to victory in the second round of the 4-A Alabama State Tournament against Madison Academy, but for the players and fans in the stands baseball was far from the first thing on their minds.

The game started with a moment of silence and a prayer for 16 year olds Tyler Nelson, Coby Hines, and 17 year old Braden Turner.

"I don't know how to describe the pain. It was almost like something hit me in the gut," said Wilson High School Junior Jaden May.

May went to Wilson High School with all three teens.

Their deaths are hitting the community hard, because of how tight knit it is.

"It's a special community. That's for sure. I don't know how to put it into words. Like, everybody's friends with everybody. Everybody's tight. I consider it more of a family than just friends," said May.

The teens had a way of brightening a room.

"They'd always help you keep your head high and head on your shoulders and stuff and make you feel good," said May.

Upon hearing of the tragic loss of the teens the Head Coach for Madison Academy knew they had to do something to honor the teens.

That included spray painting a cross with Wilson's logo on their own home field.

"What we teach our students every day at madison academy is just the idea of service, thoughtfulness, compassion, empathy, and what an opportunity as a school to try and reach out and minister to a fellow team," said Head Coach David Pressley.

The idea of playing baseball wasn't even thought of late last night for the Wilson High School Baseball team, but after letting it sink in they decided playing is what the boys would have wanted.

"They are all going through that whole gamut of emotions right now and maybe this game, when kept in the proper perspective, can help to heal some of those wounds a little bit," said Wilson High School Head Coach David Fowler.

The entire team wore black ribbons on their hats to honor the teens.

"It just shows how tight we are as a family and as a community," said May.

This coming summer will be a tough one for them.

"We're going to have to take it one step at a time, that's for sure," said May.

At least for Friday night they get a small distraction through a simple game of baseball.

On top of the moment of silence and prayer, Madison Academy collected money that will go right to the families of the teens to help pay for funeral costs.

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