I've been shooting for Morton's football team for 2 seasons going into my third this coming season. Over those 2 years, I've been befriended by the team and have developed nothing but a good relationship with the team and coaches.
The first season I shot, I was the new guy. The guy with the camera that shot every play, every touchdown, and every win or loss. I got to know the varsity team well. Though I shot and still shoot for the varsity, I did my best to get to know as much of the JV team as possible.
My the second season shooting photos for them, I was already established with them; I was their camera man and still am.
I wasn't able to get to know Kash as well as I would have liked, but he did play well out on the field.
This season, I had the opportunity to know the Skipper brothers better. I knew of them the season prior and started to get acquainted with Mike, but this past season, I got to know both of them better. Mike and Mark are very easy going.
Mark was out of the season due to an injury, but was there at the games on the sidelines. Thats where I go to know him a bit more. During each game, he would ask to see the latest shot I took. I'd show him a few between plays, and he would always stop after looking at a few photos from the back of my camera and say, "I wish I was out there right now." I'd chuckle and say, "Maybe for the playoffs." "I hope so." He would say. "If not, you always have next year." "Yeah."
Unfortunately that never came. Saturday morning I woke up to a text from a friend of mine with a link. I opened it not knowing what it was, and I couldn't believe it. Too soon. Too young. Too fast. I double checked the sources to see if it was in fact real; unfortunately it was.
Mark, the little time I was able to know you at the games, you gave it your best on the field, and when you were on the sidelines, you did what you could to help the team. I'm glad I got to know you this past season, and I know you will be greatly missed and remembered by your family and friends. Rest in peace Mark.