Bigger than baseball: Louisa County honors late teammate
LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- "Chase was just always absolutely full of life," said Louisa County principal Lee Downey, "Just the life of the party."
There's silence on the Louisa County baseball field and a laugh missing from the dugout. Just one week into the baseball season, 17-year-old Chase Luck was killed in a car crash. He was a loving brother and a devoted friend but most of all, he was the ultimate teammate.
"I'll never forget this with Chase," started Louisa County baseball coach Kevin Fisher, "We needed a backup catcher and he was going out for another position at that time and he came to me and said, 'Coach I will do it, I'll be the backup.' He said, 'I know that may sacrifice my playing time but we need a backup catcher.' For someone to do that and show how selfless they are and do something for the betterment of the team, I mean, I think that speaks a lot about the type of person Chase is."
In the wake of tragedy, Chase's teammates found solace in the place where he was his happiest: the baseball field. There, hurt gave way to healing and pain turned into purpose.
"That's what heals in my opinion, these kinds of things, just being able to comfort each other and that's what they've done all season long. I can tell you they haven't been this close and they wouldn't have been this close without this," said Downey.
"Getting back on the field was good for the boys," said Fisher, "I think it was something they wanted to do, to do the best they could to honor Chase. They definitely take that to heart, everything that we do, they have a purpose."
"Seeing us do so well on the field; it's been a blessing, knowing that he's up there rooting for us," said friend and teammate Daniel Leale.
The team who was hoping to break even is now ranked 2nd in the Jefferson district with a winning record of 14-4. But the real victory has been the way Chase has shined through every pitch and every hit.
"This has been hard on the team but you know things have silver linings and we believe in trying to find the positives in things and the positive in this is that Chase has come through in all our boys," said Downey.
"From day one I have said this is bigger than baseball this year. Regardless of how our season goes, we just want to play hard and play for him and do the best we can to honor him," started Fisher, "That's kinda been the story of our season truthfully ... almost every game it's been a different person that has stepped up and gotten a big hit or pitched well or made a tremendous play for us to win a game."