Valley Christian takes to field following player's death - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Valley Christian takes to field following player's death

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Drew Swank Drew Swank
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SPOKANE, Wash. - The Valley Christian Panthers will take to the field Friday night for the first time since the death of 17-year-old player Drew Swank.

Swank died days after he took a hard hit in a game against Washtucna on September 25.

 

The Valley Christian Panthers will take Drew's number - 15 - with them for the rest of the season after they had it stitched on their jerseys

Valley Christian postponed their October 2 game against St. John-Endicott following Swank's death. After meeting with parents and players earlier this week, Panther coaches say an agreement was reached to continue the season and that the team was not going to quit.

Returning to the field Friday, the Panthers are scheduled to play an away game against the Selkirk Rangers at 7 p.m. The team says moving on with their season is what Swank would have wanted them to do.

For Friday's game in Selkirk and for the rest of the season, the team will carry Drew with them. His number - 15 - has been put on the Panthers' helmets and is stitched on their jerseys in green, Swank's favorite color.

"He'll be with us whether he's here in spirit or in our minds, he will always be with us as we continue on through this season and here on out," said Panther Assistant Coach Mike Heden.

Panther coaches say they will have Swank's jersey and helmet on the sideline during Friday night's game against Selkirk.

Students, community rally around Swank family

Since Swank's death, the community has shown a great amount of support for the Swank family. Over the past few weeks, students organized a blood drive in Swank's honor as well as fundraising efforts - car washes and donation jars placed at local businesses - for his family.

Students were able to raise $5,500 for the Swank family last weekend in three separate car washes.

Other local teams have also shown support of Swank. Before last Friday's game against North Central, Central Valley players ran on to the field carrying a giant flag with Drew's number.

A benefit dinner for the Swank family is scheduled at Washtucna High School on Tuesday, October 13 from 5 to 7 p.m.

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