Jul 12, 2011
Fennville Team That Lost Player To Make Bittersweet Trip To ESPYs

Fennville —

Adam Siegel admits a summer trip with his Fennville basketball teammates is exciting but bittersweet.

It is a thrill to attend the ESPYs awards Wednesday in Los Angeles and be up for an award.

It is tough because the reason for it is beloved teammate Wes Leonard is no longer with them.

“It’s nice to have everyone back together. The team is really supportive of each other, Siegel said. It’s cool we’re going out there. The reason we’re going out there isn’t.”

Siegel, his teammates and Fennville coaches and administrators left this morning for a three-day trip to California, paid for by ESPN.

The Fennville boys basketball team has been nominated for Best Moment of 2011 for its performance in the state tournament following Leonard’s death moments after the March 3 game that cinched a 20-0 regular season.

The Blackhawks won three games after Leonard’s death to claim a Class C district championship at DeVos Fieldhouse. They lost the following week in the regional semifinals to eventual state champion Schoolcraft.

The other finalists in the category are Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay for his playoff no-hitter and NASCAR driver Trevor Bayne winning the Daytona 500. Voting has ended.

“The trip is a reward and recognizes these young men for their accomplishments during these challenging times, Fennville Athletic Director Tony Petkus said. The adversity that they faced and perseverance that they displayed was remarkable.

“This will also be a good time to promote the Wes Leonard Heart Team on the national stage.”

The team also is planning a trip together to a Detroit Tigers game, Fennville coach Ryan Klingler said.

As the national spotlight faded, those involved slowly have been making progress with their grief, he added.

“There are good moments and bad moments, Klingler said. I thought we are doing about as well as you can.

“The healing will come a little bit (when the departing players) move to college and (do) some stuff outside of school. (Those returning) are going to have some tough moments when you go lace up the cleats and lace up the sneakers. That’s when you’re going to have some tough days.”

Siegel’s future involves enrolling at Ferris State University and studying advertising.

While he will be living in Big Rapids, he plans to return home and be there for his friends.

“I’ll go to games to support them, especially football and basketball, Siegel said. They’ll need it.”

Fennville Team That Lost Player To Make Bittersweet Trip To ESPYs

The Holland Sentinel, Alan Babbitt

http://www.hollandsentinel.com/feature/x1223066400/Fennville-basketball-teams-trip-to-ESPY-awards-is-bittersweet

Fennville —

Adam Siegel admits a summer trip with his Fennville basketball teammates is exciting but bittersweet. It is a thrill to attend the ESPYs awards Wednesday in Los Angeles and be up for an award. It is tough because the reason for it is beloved teammate Wes Leonard is no longer with them. “It’s nice to have everyone back together. The team is really supportive of each other, Siegel said. It’s cool we’re going out there. The reason we’re going out there isn’t.” Siegel, his teammates and Fennville coaches and administrators left this morning for a three-day trip to California, paid for by ESPN. The Fennville boys basketball team has been nominated for Best Moment of 2011 for its performance in the state tournament following Leonard’s death moments after the March 3 game that cinched a 20-0 regular season. The Blackhawks won three games after Leonard’s death to claim a Class C district championship at DeVos Fieldhouse. They lost the following week in the regional semifinals to eventual state champion Schoolcraft. The other finalists in the category are Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay for his playoff no-hitter and NASCAR driver Trevor Bayne winning the Daytona 500. Voting has ended. “The trip is a reward and recognizes these young men for their accomplishments during these challenging times, Fennville Athletic Director Tony Petkus said. The adversity that they faced and perseverance that they displayed was remarkable. “This will also be a good time to promote the Wes Leonard Heart Team on the national stage.” The team also is planning a trip together to a Detroit Tigers game, Fennville coach Ryan Klingler said. As the national spotlight faded, those involved slowly have been making progress with their grief, he added. “There are good moments and bad moments, Klingler said. I thought we are doing about as well as you can. “The healing will come a little bit (when the departing players) move to college and (do) some stuff outside of school. (Those returning) are going to have some tough moments when you go lace up the cleats and lace up the sneakers. That’s when you’re going to have some tough days.” Siegel’s future involves enrolling at Ferris State University and studying advertising. While he will be living in Big Rapids, he plans to return home and be there for his friends. “I’ll go to games to support them, especially football and basketball, Siegel said. They’ll need it.”






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