A family who has faced a horrible tragedy out reaches to their community in remembrance of their son Brendan, also known as “B,” who died in a two-vehicle car collision in July 2014. On the night of Oct. 2, the Southmoreland High School boys varsity soccer team held a memorial game for Brendan “B” Walter.
Preceding the varsity game there was a balloon release ceremony where players, cheerleaders, spectators, and even the opposing team were given green balloons to release. Green was Brendan’s favorite color. Brendan’s family was also recognized on the field during the ceremony. As the Walter family left the field, coach Chris Hixson gave each member of the family a supportive hug. The team was given green t-shirts with the phrase “Always Happy” written on them, a phrase that was commonly associated with “B.”
Since Walter’s death, the family has sponsored two scholarships in memory of “B.” This year the family will be giving away eight scholarships. Their goal is to give away 10. The scholarship awards each student chosen $1,000.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” said Debra Walter of the scholarships given in her son’s memory. “It’s amazing to help these kids through Brendan.”
Brendan’s memory was also honored by holding this game.
Coach Hixson said the game was the first to specifically honor Walter.
“Normally we just have a moment of silence,” Coach Hixson said. He noted that this is the first year that anyone who could have possibly played with “B” was graduated, so none of the team knew Brendan personally.
“It’s different because the kids don’t know ‘B’ as well,” coach Hixson said. “But it is a good way to carry on his memory and to honor everything Debbie has done.”
Brendan’s younger brother Cameron, who is a recent Southmoreland graduate, played soccer with his brother when “B” was a senior. In memory of his brother and for his senior year, Cameron dedicated the season to “B” and even changed to his brother’s jersey number, which was number 25.
“It was an awesome, but sad thing,” Cameron said. “It hurts that he’s not here; it honestly kills me that he’s not.”
At the game it was announced by the boosters that because of sales for bracelets, decals, shoelaces, and 50/50 tickets at the game, $500 was made to be added into the scholarship fund.
Sadly, the Scotties lost the game to the Laurel Highland Mustangs 10-0, but it wasn’t the score of the game that mattered. This game was about recognizing a past student whose life had been cut short. “B” Walter may be gone, but his memory will carry on and will live through the scholarship his family awards, this game and through his family.