Last night, Tim and I attended the Leopard Lacrosse Banquet. I started Leopard Lacrosse 10 years ago when Pierce wanted to play for his school/his community, not the neighboring district.
Cole Griffin is the last original member of the team back when I formed it. He is also the longest player for the team, since he started as a fifth grader on the sixth grade team.
Tim and I chose to give his Bobby Pierce Forest Memorial Scholarship since he represents the true definition of the word perseverance.
Cole struggled with depression after Pierce's suicide because they were best friends. Thankfully, he made his way through it and will be attending the University of Dallas in the fall, where he will play lacrosse for their team.
Last year, I awarded the scholarship to Weston Haas, who was one of the original players and he now plays for BYU. When I presented the award last year, I got a little choked up, but made it through the presentation fairly well. Last night, not so much. I first got emotional when we watched the team highlight video and I saw a player wearing #22 (Pierce's number). All I could think of is that should be Pierce, but, it's not.
Then, when I got on stage to present our scholarship, it went okay at first, but the second I said the words 'the Bobby Pierce Forest Gilbert Memorial Scholarship', I lost it. I think it was so emotional because I was giving it to Pierce's best friend, who we know struggled so after his passing. Hopefully, the one's in attendance were able to understand the rest of the speech through my tears.
It was wonderful seeing him so happy last night, with his big smile and goofy actions. We're very proud of him and know he has a bright future ahead of him!