Rivalries are for the playing field, but once the games are over real life settles in. Real life hit the Tarleton State football program Monday morning when redshirt freshman Zach Shaver, 18, lost his life at the Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital-Fort Worth after a head injury suffered Saturday during a spring practice.
The Wildcats and Texans enjoy a healthy rivalry on the football field, but that rivalry takes a backseat to the reality that an 18-year-old young man tragically passed away while doing something he loves. I talked to my good friend Joey Roberts -- the Tarleton State SID and an ACU graduate -- on the phone yesterday and Joey just said he was "writing a press release that no SID ever wants to write."
How true, and how sad.
The prayers of the entire ACU athletics department in general and the ACU football program in particular go out to Shaver's family, Tarleton State head coach Cary Fowler and the Texans. In a time like this there is no rivalry, only sadness.
* In another tragic story, Texas A&M-Kingsville assistant athletics trainer Missy Fraser was hit in the temple by an errant throw on Friday during the Javelinas' series at Tarleton State. She was careflighted to a hospital in Fort Worth and was admitted to the ICU unit with a skull fracture. The last word was that she was improving. We all hope and pray that she continues to improve so that she can return shortly to good health.