Monday, January 12, 2009

The Boys in Red, one year later

Please spare a thought today for the people in Bathurst, N.B., as it's the one-year anniversary of the crash involving the Bathurst High basketball team.

There is no bringing back Javier Acevedo, Codey Branch, Nathan Cleland, Justin Cormier, Daniel Hains, Nick Kelly, Nickolas Quinn and Beth Lord. It seems like there is a little a stranger two provinces away can offer that won't sound cheap, but as someone who grew up in a rural area and played a little (very little) high school hoops, it certainly resonates.

It is just important to realize that every weekend, there all number of sports teams driving around the countryside. Just this weekend, the University of Massachusetts women's hockey team was involved in a 59-vehicle pileup; fortunately no one was injured.

The high school coaches who take a group of teenagers to a weekend tournament, well, you can't thank them enough. A commenter at a while back sort of touched upon how stressful it is:
"It is absolutely perplexing that among the recommendations made following this accident, there was none that would disallow coaches and teachers to drive their teams to and from competitions. Win, or lose, a good coach would be so emotionally involved with the game and the team's performance that his/her ability to drive safely might well be compromised."
That is probably a non-starter in many cases. Spots in vehicles can be at a premium; parents can't always get away from work if a team is leaving on a Friday. It does hit upon how much of a debt is owed to the coaches who take teams on the road.

Service marks anniversary of Bathurst crash (The Canadian Press)

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