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

Strand to host two-week holiday hoops-apalooza

Strand to host two-week holiday hoops-apaloozaChristmas Day is only eight days away, and you know [more]

Wrestling: WB takes Shark Duels; NMB wins Hampton

Wrestling: WB takes Shark Duels; NMB wins HamptonWest Brunswick, the lone North Carolina team in the tournament, [more]

Lady Chants hang tough against No. 23 Syracuse

Lady Chants hang tough against No. 23 SyracuseThe Coastal Carolina women's basketball team fell 69-57 to 23rd-ranked [more]

Richardson puts Panthers up for sale amid charges

Richardson puts Panthers up for sale amid chargesShortly after the Carolina Panthers scored a big 31-24 win [more]

Chants shut down Cavs; host Wake Forest Monday

Chants shut down Cavs; host Wake Forest MondayJaylen Shaw scored 23 points and Zac Cuthbertson added 22 [more]

Boys Hoops: Sharks win in 2OT; Chiefs drop nail-biter

Boys Hoops: Sharks win in 2OT; Chiefs drop nail-biterThe North Myrtle Beach High boys basketball team lost a [more]

Girls Hoops: Sharks, Chiefs roll; Tigers take tough loss

Girls Hoops: Sharks, Chiefs roll; Tigers take tough lossThe Conway High girls basketball team suffered its third straight [more]

Wrestling: Braves finish strong to beat Warriors

Wrestling: Braves finish strong to beat WarriorsThe Socastee High wrestling team captured a big win over [more]

Chants return from exams to face tough hoops tests

Chants return from exams to face tough hoops testsAfter taking a week off for final exams, the Coastal [more]

Hoops: Strand teams turn up D to win by blowouts

Hoops: Strand teams turn up D to win by blowoutsThe Myrtle Beach High girls basketball team turned in a [more]

North Myrtle Beach boys, girls sweep rival Socastee

North Myrtle Beach boys, girls sweep rival SocasteeThe North Myrtle Beach High girls basketball team captured its [more]

Wrestling: MB tops Foxes; NMB sweeps quad match

Wrestling: MB tops Foxes; NMB sweeps quad matchThe Myrtle Beach High boys wrestling team captured a hard-fought [more]

Boys Hoops: Tigers hold off Seahawks; Sharks win

Boys Hoops: Tigers hold off Seahawks; Sharks winThe Myrtle Beach High boys basketball team took its best [more]

Girls Hoops: MB settles score with rivals; CF rolls

Girls Hoops: MB settles score with rivals; CF rollsThe Myrtle Beach High girls basketball team got a little [more]

Coastal's Adams named Sun Belt player of week

Coastal's Adams named Sun Belt player of weekCoastal Carolina senior guard Jas Adams has been named the [more]

Conway QB Grainger puts end to recruiting process

Conway QB Grainger puts end to recruiting processConway High quarterback D'Wuan Grainger entered his senior season as [more]

Carolina Forest boys rush past Northwood Academy

Carolina Forest boys rush past Northwood AcademyThe Carolina Forest boys basketball team claimed its second victory [more]

Panthers in playoff hunt; Quigley sticks with Vikes

Panthers in playoff hunt; Quigley sticks with VikesThe Carolina Panthers find themselves back in the thick of [more]

Hoops tip off, wrestling caps busy sports week

Hoops tip off, wrestling caps busy sports weekThe Grand Strand prep sports scene has a busy week [more]

CAC skirts snow, heats up Snowflake Invite podium

CAC skirts snow, heats up Snowflake Invite podiumThe Coastal Aquatic Club (CAC) dodged a snowy weekend in [more]

Riptides dash through the Blizzard Blitz competition

Riptides dash through the Blizzard Blitz competitionSeven Riptide swimmers traveled to Cary, NC, over weekend to [more]

North team extends streak of dominance over South

North team extends streak of dominance over SouthThe North squad extended its streak of dominance in the [more]

Myrtle Beach boys, girls blast past Carolina Forest

Myrtle Beach boys, girls blast past Carolina ForestThe Myrtle Beach High boys and girls basketball teams blew [more]

Gamecocks survive scare from Chants at the buzzer

Gamecocks survive scare from Chants at the buzzerFormer Gamecock-turned-Chanticleer Jaylen Shaw missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer at [more]

Steele makes major splash at Winter Junior Nationals

Steele makes major splash at Winter Junior NationalsCarolina Forest senior and Coastal Aquatic Club swimmer Taylor Steele [more]

Strand to host two-week holiday hoops-apalooza

Strand to host two-week holiday hoops-apaloozaChristmas Day is only eight days away, and you know [more]

Wrestling: WB takes Shark Duels; NMB wins Hampton

Wrestling: WB takes Shark Duels; NMB wins HamptonWest Brunswick, the lone North Carolina team in the tournament, [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2017 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach