The softball team at Lexington High have plenty to play for this week when it competes in the Class AA state tournament in Murfreesboro as part of the TSSAA’s Spring Fling.
“We want to win for our seniors, and we want to win for Coach [Ronnie] Burke and Coach Blake [Burke],” said Lady Tigers pitcher Natalie Cogdell. “We want to do our part to honor God and play for Him and do everything to our best for His glory.
“We also are playing for Brenna.”
Cogdell referred to Brenna Foster, an 8-year-old student at Pin Oak Elementary in Lexington who died in a car accident on May 5.
Ronnie Burke, Lexington’s head coach, knew Brenna as he works at Pin Oak and had known the Foster family for years after having helped coach her older brother, Andrew, in middle school football.
Burke wanted the team to honor Brenna’s memory in a tangible way, and they’ve done that in a pair of ways.
Fans who attended region tournament and sectional games the Lady Tigers hosted this past week at Guy B. Amis Park noticed the jersey numbers of the three seniors painted in red on the grass in left field after celebrating senior night Monday in the region semifinal against Dyersburg. There was a fourth number – No. 5 – painted in centerfield.
“That’s the number Brenna wore and the position she played in youth softball,” Burke said.
The Lady Tigers are also honoring Brenna’s memory with a special patch on the sleeve of their game jerseys.
“I don’t know if it helps anybody or anything like that because it’s such a tragic situation,” Burke said. “But Brenna was special to me, and her family is a special family.
“This whole town has gotten behind them and supported them as they grieve over their loss and heal physically and mentally from this. But we wanted to do something to let them know we support them to and honor Brenna when we’re on the field. That’s what we’re doing.”
The Lady Tigers hope to honor Brenna this week by winning a state championship, which would be their second in three seasons after winning it all in 2013.
Brandon Shields, 425-9751