WILLIAMSON – The Williamson PK8 football team will be playing for a reason other than winning this year. The middle school Wolfpack will be dedicating this year’s season to the memory of two teammates that passed away over the summer.
Gabriel and Allan Cantrell had just finished their seventh grade year. The boys were enjoying a family trip at New River when the two brothers were swept away by a swift current near the mouth of Indian Creek on a Sunday evening back in June.
The Family and Community were crushed by the tragic loss. The loss created a permanent scar in the hearts of everyone at Williamson PK8. The boys will be missed but will never be forgotten. The middle school Wolfpack will spend every game this season honoring their lost friends and teammates on the football field.
The players will wear a memorial decal on the back of their helmets with the initials GC and AC.
Head Coach Ron Joplin said, “It was just such a tragedy, myself and the kids wanted to show the family how much we care and am sorry about the families loss.” The Wolfpack decided together before the start of the season that they would play in honor of Gabriel and Allan. The Wolfpack held a ceremony during halftime of Thursday’s game against Burch. The team presented the family with a memorial wreath that has the Wolfpack ‘W’ on it as well as all the players’ names.
Teammate C.J. Joplin said, “It’s going to be really hard to go through the season without those guys, and I’m going to give it 110 percent this year for them.”
The loss of Gabriel and Allan has made the Wolfpack community incomplete, not just for the season, but forever. There will be two empty spots on the Wolfpack sideline this season, but the memory of Gabriel and Allan will be the surrounding force that drives the Wolfpack through every yard gained. A team will always be together even if they are apart.
(William Plaster is the sports reporter for the Williamson Daily News, he can be reached at 304-235-4242 ext. 2274 or at [email protected] or on twitter @sidplaster)