Local athletes recall ‘The Day Sports Stood Still’ 15 years later

col-joelbeachumIt is still hard to believe 15 years has passed. It was September 11, 2001, on the fateful day when we were all changed by a moment in time that no American will ever forget.

Maybe you are headed to work, like I was that morning, to put together a newspaper and the sports section. My column changed that day almost instantly. My headlines were originally talking about the football games. They now read “The Day Sports Stood Still” because there were no sports that day. There were no sports the next day in the local area, and very few across the country.

I remember having to talk to several students and coaches that day to ask them about how they felt. I was in amazement by the fact that many of them, while brought to tears, could share their heart-felt concerns. My questions were not revolving around the player of the game or a big victory or a tough loss on the field. Instead they were about their thoughts and opinion on the events that happened in New York, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania earlier that day.

For those too young to remember the horrific events, at 8:46 a.m. the news came across that American Airlines Flight 11 just hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Within less than a half an hour, United Airlines Flight 175 struck the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Then American Airlines. Flight 77 struck the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m., and United Airlines Flight 93 came down in Somerset, Pennsylvania at 10:07 a.m. By the end of the day, a total 2,996 people died, and over 6,000 more were injured. The total costs reached $3 trillion.

What had just happened? Our schools just completely stopped, all about workplaces had all of our attention on the news, and rescue workers raced to the scenes. We later found out that the planes were hijacked and this was a horrific plot to attack our country. How can this happen? Where do we go from here? Would our country fight back? Is our freedom in jeopardy from this fateful day. We knew that this would change our life forever. We knew that we would never be the same.

Jana Houghton, tennis coach at Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach, recalled on the shocking events and sadness of that day.

“9/11 was a day that evil came to our shores. I was in disbelief that something so horrible could happen here. I had just returned from dropping my oldest daughter at preschool and was looking for something for my youngest daughter to watch on TV.  I saw a burning building and changed the channel. The same building was on the next channel and the next before I realized what I was looking at. I sat on the floor in shock,” Hougton said. “A gentleman from NYC was painting our house and I had him come in and watch. He was so distraught that he had to stop working that day.”

Hougton, like many others, were left with many questions and very little answers. What was next for our country? What was next for you to do that day? How do we explain this to our children or families.

“As the morning went on and the questions of more planes being used as weapons went on and planes were being grounded for safety I was stuck how quiet Myrtle Beach became. I was again shocked when the towers fell. I was sure the people would be saved and the firefighters would prevail but that day was the end of American innocence it showed how vulnerable we truly are,” Hougton added.

Josh Norman, former Coastal Carolina star and current Washington Redskins cornerback, was in middle school at the time.

“It was a terrible event and time for the country as a whole and the people that lost there lives. They are forever in our memories, and to their families, I give my condolences,” Norman said.

Vonta Leach, who played at East Carolina and went on to play fullback with both the Houston Texans and the SuperBowl Champion Baltimore Ravens, said he recalls that day when he was playing college football.

“I was on the yard at ECU waiting to go to class and one plane hit, than the second one,” Leach said shocked. “It’s a day I will never forget where a lot of innocent people lost their lives. That day our country changed forever.”

Ryan Klesko, former Atlanta Braves great and World Series Champion, recounted the day when he was in California playing for the San Diego Padres at that time.

“9-11 is a day of remembering all our falling heroes and innocent victims. It sticks out in my mind as a time of how strong our nation is as we pulled together in support of this terrible day in history,” Klesko said. “God bless our soldiers who fight the fight for our freedom everyday.”

Fifteen years later, there is a National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York remembering those that were lost. Our country did fight back. Our country did retain its freedoms – liberty and justice for all.

We remember those heroes from the New York Police and Fire Departments and all the innocent victims. We remember the rescue workers in Washington and Pennsylvania, and we remember the troops that have fought valiantly to preserve our rights as Americans.

Although sports stood still with the rest of the country that day, high schools, colleges and professional teams look to honor those fallen, and those still fighting today – 15 years later. We are America; we will never give up the fight. We all just have to do our part and give back. Sports are just another way that we can participate and celebrate our nation.

Comments

comments

Versatile Green means go for Seahawks' hot offense

Versatile Green means go for Seahawks' hot offenseDean Boyd knows what Jermani Green can do. Boyd, the Marlboro [more]

Field conditions a concern for Wilson-NMB playoff tilt

Field conditions a concern for Wilson-NMB playoff tiltMatt Reel’s North Myrtle Beach football team reached the second [more]

MB Invitational: WVU rolls; Coastal nets invite for 2019

MB Invitational: WVU rolls; Coastal nets invite for 2019The eight schools scheduled to compete in the 2019 Myrtle [more]

Local student-athletes take advantage of early signing

Local student-athletes take advantage of early signingThe early signing period opened in full force Tuesday on [more]

Green Wave surges past Chants in road-trip debut

Green Wave surges past Chants in road-trip debutZac Cuthbertson tied his career-high with 31 points, but it [more]

NMB rises to the top with Class 4A volleyball crown

NMB rises to the top with Class 4A volleyball crownAfter losing a hard-fought first set in Saturday's Class 4A [more]

Coastal will host inaugural Myrtle Beach Bowl in 2020

Coastal will host inaugural Myrtle Beach Bowl in 2020ESPN Events is adding a new bowl game to its [more]

Mohr brothers take major leap at Junior Olympic XC

Mohr brothers take major leap at Junior Olympic XCA pair of Grand Strand brothers made strong showings at [more]

National champs highlight Chants' baseball schedule

National champs highlight Chants' baseball scheduleThe Coastal Carolina baseball team and head coach Gary Gilmore [more]

Coast FA teams post solid showings in NC tourneys

Coast FA teams post solid showings in NC tourneysCoach Joel Banta’s Coast 07 Red first received high praise [more]

Chiefs charge back, claim Class 4A volleyball crown

Chiefs charge back, claim Class 4A volleyball crownThe North Myrtle Beach Chiefs went to the Class 4A [more]

Red Wolves leave Coastal one win short of bowl bid

Red Wolves leave Coastal one win short of bowl bidArkansas Red Wolves totaled 454 yards of offense on their [more]

Panthers' gamble pays off in OT win over Lexington

Panthers' gamble pays off in OT win over LexingtonMarc Morris had already showed his hand. The Carolina Forest coach [more]

Seahawks, Green ground, pound Devils in first round

Seahawks, Green ground, pound Devils in first roundIn what could have been the final home game of [more]

No. 10 NMB hits the road, runs past Thoroughbreds

No. 10 NMB hits the road, runs past ThoroughbredsThe No. 10-ranked North Myrtle Beach High football team had [more]

River Bluff pulls the plug on Conway's football season

River Bluff pulls the plug on Conway's football seasonAfter the lights went out, the Gators turned it on [more]

Coastal holds off Howard, loses to Panthers in semis

Coastal holds off Howard, loses to Panthers in semisA change in venue did not squelch the excitement in [more]

Seahawks, Chiefs may reap rewards of rigorous region

Seahawks, Chiefs may reap rewards of rigorous regionMickey Wilson didn’t use the term directly. But the Myrtle Beach [more]

Panthers prepare for tough first-round playoff test

Panthers prepare for tough first-round playoff testIn the last five years, Carolina Forest coach Marc Morris [more]

Chiefs dethrone Seahawks as Lower State champions

Chiefs dethrone Seahawks as Lower State champions The North Myrtle Beach High volleyball team had this date [more]

Clemson's Renfrow named semifinalist for top walk-on

Clemson's Renfrow named semifinalist for top walk-onThe Burlsworth Trophy selection committee announced today that Clemson wide [more]

Coastal men, women cruise to season-opening victories

Coastal men, women cruise to season-opening victoriesSenior forward Zac Cuthbertson scored 18 points to lead six [more]

Local runners make strides at state cross country meet

Local runners make strides at state cross country meetMissing a month of the high school cross country season [more]

Mountaineers top Chants; Norman makes donation

Mountaineers top Chants; Norman makes donationCoastal Carolina’s football team put up a strong fight, but [more]

College hoops hit Strand with CCU, MB Invitational

College hoops hit Strand with CCU, MB InvitationalThe college basketball season tips off in earnest this week [more]

Versatile Green means go for Seahawks' hot offense

Versatile Green means go for Seahawks' hot offenseDean Boyd knows what Jermani Green can do. Boyd, the Marlboro [more]

Field conditions a concern for Wilson-NMB playoff tilt

Field conditions a concern for Wilson-NMB playoff tiltMatt Reel’s North Myrtle Beach football team reached the second [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2018 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach