Jacob's baseball team had a powerful experience this season when one of the boys on the team, who was suffering from cancer and had been for many months, took a quick turn for the worse. One Saturday, he clearly wasn't as strong as he had been previous games as he collapsed a couple times while in the field. One of the most touching moments of the entire season happened in his last at bat when every boy stood at the fence cheering his name. It was probably the loudest I can remember them cheering the entire season.
A couple days later, we learned he had been hospitalized and had returned home from the hospital on hospice care. Ryker, who is our home teacher and is the boys' amazing coach, quickly organized a teem meeting at the church where the boys decorated cards and organized to go visit Estevan. They brought a bunch of things to give him, including an Iron Man mask and a wrestling title belt.
When we went in, Estevan was not able to walk and was carried into the living room. Estevan was on pain medication and was tired, but he was clearly fighting to be alert and with the team. He wasn't able to speak, but he gave everyone five, pointed at his hat to have his dad put it on, and looked like his spirits were brightened by the presence of his team. His parents were also touched by the thoughtfulness of Ryker and the boys. Estevan passed away a few hours later that night.
The next game, the team met and dedicated the season to Estevan. Their hats have the Wilsonville baseball symbol on them, which looks like a W. Ryker took a white pen and wrote an "E" next to it. He explained to the boys that WE were a team and WE would dedicate our season to Estevan. That game, the boys went out and played their best game of the season. It was pretty inspirational and emotional to the kids and the parents.
Additionally, they were given the Iron Man mask by Estevan's parents. They all signed it, and it hung next to their dugout for the rest of the season. Every time a boy went up to bat, they touched the mask. They then took practice swings at a base they spray painted with an E. After one game later in the season, Ryker gave a game ball to Estevan, which one of the boys took and placed on his grave.
At the end of the season, Estevan's parents came to the year-end tournament. The team took time be with them and say hi. They told them that they had dedicated their season to Estevan. Estevan's parents thanked Ryker for the ball on his grave and for the support they felt from the team.
It was an incredible season to be part of. And it was all For Estevan.