It’s good to not feel alone

Published 10:45 am Thursday, March 19, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...


In a week where the sports world was flipped upside down with mass cancellations of some of the year’s biggest events due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus), high school and local sports played on, and we not only got to appreciate that sports were being played, but what they can do to bring hope to those struggling with a tough time.

While most of the world was in a panic about the unknown of what to was come, Pelham, Chelsea and Calera each saw a special moment during high school sporting events on separate nights throughout the week that gave glimpses of hope.

On Tuesday, March 10, donning orange uniforms instead of the typical green and gold, it was the Pelham Panthers who were able to come together to celebrate a graduate of the school.

Lana Turner, who is also the brother of Pelham assistant wrestling coach Dillon Turner, was diagnosed with Leukemia back on Feb. 7, almost a year after losing her father unexpectedly.

But the Panthers came together in between the girls and boys soccer games and showed Lana they were in the fight with her. Wearing orange jerseys, which represents Leukemia awareness, the players were joined by Pelham wrestlers and Dillon Turner wearing T-shirts that read “Supporting Lana because together, we will win.”

It was an emotional but happy moment to see a team and community come together in support of one of their own, knowing that together, they could share the hope to defeat the disease.

One day later, on Wednesaday, March 11, Calera head basketball coach George Drake along with his staff and players hosted a special needs basketball camp at Calera High School.

This comes a few months after Drake himself had difficult experience with his son Jaxon, who was born a month early with facial paralysis from a rare condition known as Moebius Syndrome.

Drake spent months with his wife and son wondering what would happen, which led to him also missing the early part of the basketball season, before returning.

When he did return, the Eagles played host to rival Shelby County and both teams sold and wore shirts to raise money and awareness for Jaxon. The shirts read “In this family, nobody walks alone.”

That moment helped Drake and his family feel loved and supported. Now, he’s giving back to help others not feel alone and to help those with special needs feel like part of a team. That was all on display during the special needs basketball camp.

A day later, on Thursday, March 12, Carter Frederick was able to add to the special moments of the week.

While he’s had a good season thus far, batting .351 with 13 RBIs, Frederick had yet to hit a home run on the season.

That changed in his first at bat against Pell City, which led off the bottom of the first inning. He took the fourth pitch he saw and drove it over the fence for his first of the year.

As the Auburn University signee rounded the bases, it meant more to him than just his first homer of the 2020 season.

Trotting the final 90 feet home from third base, Frederick found his mom in the crowd, blew her a kiss and pointed at her right as he crossed home plate.

His mom is currently battling breast cancer and the team is honoring her this year by wearing hats with her initials and a pink ribbon on them. But in that moment, the battle she was in the midst of was all forgotten as she watched her son hit his first long shot of the season.

It was one of those weeks that made you want to appreciate what you have a little more, but also a week that proved what sports can do to help people come together to make someone facing a difficult test feel a part of a team.