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

Girls Lax: Sharks roll again; Panthers rally past Braves

Girls Lax: Sharks roll again; Panthers rally past BravesThe St. James girls lacrosse team continued its impressive opening [more]

Moglia rounds out staff with addition of Howe

Moglia rounds out staff with addition of HoweShawn Howe has been named defensive line coach, Coastal Carolina [more]

Athlete of Week: MB gets major impact from Smith

Athlete of Week: MB gets major impact from SmithIn a matter of months, Asia Smith has gone from [more]

Saints' season once again halted by Spartanburg Day

Saints' season once again halted by Spartanburg DayThe Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach boys basketball team's state [more]

Nash: Sharks, Braves tie; Chiefs, Seahawks prevail

Nash: Sharks, Braves tie; Chiefs, Seahawks prevailSix local high school girls soccer teams kicked off the [more]

DJ comes home for junior tourney, groundbreaking

DJ comes home for junior tourney, groundbreakingDustin Johnson returned to TPC Myrtle Beach to break ground [more]

MB native Sessions signs on for second stint in DC

MB native Sessions signs on for second stint in DCMyrtle Beach native Ramon Sessions isn't ready to call it [more]

Lady Panthers hit ground running in season opener

Lady Panthers hit ground running in season openerThe Carolina Forest girls lacrosse team showed flashes of mid-season [more]

Woodall homers twice as Chants shut out Cougars

Woodall homers twice as Chants shut out CougarsKevin Woodall Jr., hit two home runs and Kyle Skeels [more]

Boys Playoffs: Tigers fall; Saints advance to semis

Boys Playoffs: Tigers fall; Saints advance to semisConway High boys basketball team's bid for a state championship [more]

St. James opens lacrosse season with NMB sweep

St. James opens lacrosse season with NMB sweepAfter posting an undefeated regular season in 2017, the St. [more]

MB girls bounce AC Flora; face Wilson in Lower State

MB girls bounce AC Flora; face Wilson in Lower StateThe Myrtle Beach High girls basketball team has been battling [more]

Lady Panthers' playoff run cut short by Goose Creek

Lady Panthers' playoff run cut short by Goose CreekDespite a hard-fought match, the historic run of the Carolina [more]

Grand Strand Juniors claim Savannah Showdown titles

Grand Strand Juniors claim Savannah Showdown titlesThe Grand Strand Juniors Volleyball Club sent several teams to [more]

Chants run out of magic, suffer first loss to Indiana

Chants run out of magic, suffer first loss to IndianaIndiana, ranked 17th nationally, scored once in the seventh to [more]

CCU's Adams claims third Player of the Week award

CCU's Adams claims third Player of the Week awardJas Adams of the Coastal Carolina women’s basketball team was [more]

St. James' Knaffle, White receive major golf honors

St. James' Knaffle, White receive major golf honorsAfter leading the St. James High girls golf team to [more]

Chants post back-to-back, 10th-inning walk-off wins

Chants post back-to-back, 10th-inning walk-off winsFor the second straight game, Coastal Carolina (3-0) scored a [more]

Boys Playoffs: Tigers ride Wave into 5A LS semifinal

Boys Playoffs: Tigers ride Wave into 5A LS semifinalThe Conway High boys basketball team punched their ticket to [more]

NMB crowns 2 Lower State champs; CF, MB qualify 5

NMB crowns 2 Lower State champs; CF, MB qualify 5The North Myrtle Beach wrestling team crowned two Lower State [more]

Green comes off bench, leads Saints' playoff win

Green comes off bench, leads Saints' playoff winThe Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach boys basketball team needed [more]

CCU Hoops: Chants sweep USA in Senior Day thrillers

CCU Hoops: Chants sweep USA in Senior Day thrillersOn Senior Day, it was fittingly a senior-to-senior connection that [more]

Chants rally past Sooners on Wood's walk-off in 10th

Chants rally past Sooners on Wood's walk-off in 10thWith bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of [more]

5A Girls Playoffs: Panthers roll into Lower State semis

5A Girls Playoffs: Panthers roll into Lower State semisThe Carolina Forest girls basketball team are headed to the [more]

4A Girls Playoffs: Big win keeps Seahawks at home

4A Girls Playoffs: Big win keeps Seahawks at homeThe Myrtle Beach girls basketball team had to battle to [more]

Girls Lax: Sharks roll again; Panthers rally past Braves

Girls Lax: Sharks roll again; Panthers rally past BravesThe St. James girls lacrosse team continued its impressive opening [more]

Moglia rounds out staff with addition of Howe

Moglia rounds out staff with addition of HoweShawn Howe has been named defensive line coach, Coastal Carolina [more]

Comments are closed.

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