Two girls soccer teammates and captains in Texas are leaning on each other to help get through the tragic losses of their fathers.
As the Dallas Morning News reports, Sachse (Texas) senior Alyssa Guzman considered not playing soccer this year after witnessing a car accident that killed her father on Thanksgiving morning.
Guzman’s classmate and fellow team captain, Abigail Westin, knows all too well what Guzman is going through. She also lost her father in an automobile accident. The two deaths occurred less than a month apart.
“We talk a lot,” Guzman told the Morning News. “If she needs me, we FaceTime and we make sure we’re OK.”
“Anytime that I have an issue or I’m sad, I call her,” Westin said.
The team itself is rolling, as Sachse is 23-1 and has won District 10-6A. It plays Lee (Tyler, Texas) in a second-round playoff game Friday night in Garland.
As Westin recounted to the Morning News, her father, Jason, was often involved this time of year.
“He always helped decorate for playoffs, and he was always here when they needed people to help with anything,” Westin said of her father, who died at 46 on Oct. 27. “He was my best friend. He was involved in the soccer program here and the soccer program I was involved with outside of school. He was involved in everything in my life.”
Per Dallas Police Department records obtained by the Morning News, Jason Westin was killed in a traffic accident on LBJ Freeway.
Samuel Guzman, 41, died after he was struck by a car while he was on the side of the road filling up his pickup truck after it ran out of gas, the Department of Public Safety told the Morning News. Paul Thurber, 51, from Richardson was arrested and charged with intoxication manslaughter with a vehicle.
Alyssa Guzman had driven her father back to his vehicle, and the truck she was sitting in got side-swiped before her father was hit on Bush Turnpike in Garland. Samuel Guzman had been the manager for her FC Dallas Youth club team and attended all of her high school games.
“After I got off the phone with the operator, it didn’t seem so hard. I thought everything was going to be OK,” Guzman told the Morning News. “But we got to the hospital, and they said he didn’t make it. That’s when things got pretty hard.
“I didn’t know if I wanted to play high school [soccer]. It’s been pretty hard because he’s not here. It’s hard to cope with.”
Sachse opened its season with a moment of silence to honor the men before the team’s first scrimmage, as well as recognizing them during the Senior Night ceremony.
“Knowing what they’re going through and seeing them come to practice every single day with good attitudes and be hard workers and be leaders … it’s really amazing to watch,” Sachse head coach Kristen Campbell told the Morning News. “They are so resilient.”
You can read the complete story from the Dallas Morning News here.