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.

Strand sends record-tying four players to Shrine Bowl

Strand sends record-tying four players to Shrine Bowl Horry County has had an on-again, mostly off-again relationship with [more]

Chants do it with defense for second straight week

Chants do it with defense for second straight weekNot even a 44-minute lightning delay midway through the third [more]

Week 3: MB, CF roll to set up battle of undefeateds

Week 3: MB, CF roll to set up battle of undefeatedsJon "JJ" Jones returned to his old stomping grounds at [more]

Wednesday's Roundup: SJ girls go low to beat Braves

Wednesday's Roundup: SJ girls go low to beat BravesSt. James traveled to Prestwick Country Club on Wednesday to [more]

Tuesday Roundup: Wins for CF golf, NMB volleyball

Tuesday Roundup: Wins for CF golf, NMB volleyballThe reigning Class 4A state champion North Myrtle Beach High [more]

MB transfer cleared just in time to face former school

MB transfer cleared just in time to face former schoolMyrtle Beach football player J.J. Jones has been cleared to [more]

Games go on after Dorian throws schedules for loop

Games go on after Dorian throws schedules for loopDespite Hurricane Dorian costing Horry County Schools a week of [more]

Chants capture historic victory over Jayhawks

Chants capture historic victory over JayhawksCoastal Carolina football recorded its first-ever win over a Power [more]

Who's No. 1? Two teams atop latest football polls

Who's No. 1? Two teams atop latest football polls Like it did after last year’s state championship games, Horry [more]

Hurricane Dorian calls halt to Strand sports schedule

Hurricane Dorian calls halt to Strand sports scheduleHurricane Dorian is not expected to make landfall on the [more]

Coast U-19 girls pass early test, take Atlanta Cup title

Coast U-19 girls pass early test, take Atlanta Cup titleCoach R.J. Bass wanted a strong early test for his [more]

Eastern Michigan spoils Coastal's season opener

Eastern Michigan spoils Coastal's season opener The Coastal Carolina Chanticleers opened their season the same way [more]

Week 1: Historic win for SJ; MB, CF roll in openers

Week 1: Historic win for SJ; MB, CF roll in openersTommy Norwood tried to nix the Gatorade bath. He raised [more]

Welch wins World Am in East/West Coast shootout

Welch wins World Am in East/West Coast shootoutWilliam Welch (West Islip, N.Y.) shot a net 69 (gross [more]

Golf: CF packs 1-2 punch; St. James claims tri-match

Golf: CF packs 1-2 punch; St. James claims tri-matchThe Carolina Forest girls golf team made a strong showing [more]

Chiefs reach Border Battle finale, swept by Warriors

Chiefs reach Border Battle finale, swept by WarriorsThe Palmetto State made a strong showing in the Border [more]

Perfect conditions greet thousands for World Am

Perfect conditions greet thousands for World AmBeautiful weather greeted the 3,215 golfers participating in the 36th [more]

Two Coast FA boys teams crowned Triangle champs

Two Coast FA boys teams crowned Triangle champsTwo Coast FA boys teams returned home as champions from [more]

Week 0: Chiefs top Tigers; Sharks beat Lions at horn

Week 0: Chiefs top Tigers; Sharks beat Lions at hornMatt Reel sighed more than once when talking about his [more]

Six former Pelicans make big-league leap to Cubs

Six former Pelicans make big-league leap to Cubs The distance from Myrtle Beach’s TicketReturn.com Stadium to Chicago’s Wrigley [more]

Chiefs try to stay hungry, humble in title repeat bid

Chiefs try to stay hungry, humble in title repeat bidThe only thing harder than winning a state championship is [more]

Stormy weather big winner at CNB Kickoff Classic

Stormy weather big winner at CNB Kickoff ClassicTwo blowouts, a lightning delay and ultimately three of the [more]

Coast FA boys kick off fall season with strong outing

Coast FA boys kick off fall season with strong outingFive Coast FA boys teams entered the Charlotte Invitational over [more]

Hemingway follows family, teammates to Gamecocks

Hemingway follows family, teammates to GamecocksSix minutes after his youngest child had announced his college [more]

MB Track & Field Club set for cross country season

MB Track & Field Club set for cross country seasonBuilding on the success of the track and field season, [more]

Strand sends record-tying four players to Shrine Bowl

Strand sends record-tying four players to Shrine Bowl Horry County has had an on-again, mostly off-again relationship with [more]

Chants do it with defense for second straight week

Chants do it with defense for second straight weekNot even a 44-minute lightning delay midway through the third [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2019 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach