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Reader Emails: On Loss and the Kindness of OSU’s Soccer Team

This is an amazing look at the OSU community.

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I got this amazing email from reader Kirk J. this week, and I was glad when he told me I could share it on the site. We holler a lot about Spencer Sanders and Cade Cunningham and other stuff that ultimately doesn’t have a ton of weight when it comes to our lives here on earth. So I’m glad for stories with more depth, stories that change the trajectories of people’s lives, if only by a degree or two. Hope you enjoy …

I’ve been meaning to write you for some time to share this, and I thought no better week than leading into the NCAA tourney.

My sister played soccer at OSU for Coach Hancock and Carmichael from 97-00 and worked in the athletic department for a year or two after. Despite her husband being an OU fan, my sister has raised my niece, Reese, to love OSU including our women’s soccer team. She’s been to multiple camps and really took to her counselor, Jaci Jones.

She even dressed as Jaci last Halloween!

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This is where writing this gets hard. Tragically, in April my brother-in-law passed away in his sleep at only age 42 with what was determined to be an enlarged heart. This has left my sister Carrie and 9-year-old niece without an amazing husband and father (he was also a great brother-in-law and TFD fireman).

The day he passed away, coach Karen Hancock drove to my sister’s house in Tulsa. She stayed all day offering her support in an area where she unfortunately has too much knowledge. She even played soccer with my, niece keeping her distracted while we discussed funeral arrangements in another room.

Coach Hancock brought with her two of Jaci’s jerseys. One signed by the whole team and one signed by just Jaci as well as a handwritten note from Jaci to Reese offering her condolences. Reese loves her jerseys and wears them to school and also to Cowgirl soccer games.

Last week, my niece had a tournament in KC the same weekend the city was hosting the Big 12 women’s soccer tourney. The coaches arranged for the entire team to come see my niece and her team play. They rolled up in a big orange and black bus. As they came walking out, my niece took off in a dead sprint for Jaci.

It was so amazing of them to do this and take there time to show support for her. Reese played great and her team ended up winning the tournament! She and my sister will never forget that moment and I’ll never forget the amazing gesture.

While I would cheer for the girls anyway as not only an alum, but also my sister having played for them, I am so grateful for what Jaci and the coaches have done for her I am ALL IN ON SOME COWGIRL SOCCER!!!

I urge all Poke fans to get out and support the ladies in the NCAA tourney this week.

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