Broadneck High School lacrosse players wore shirts with the message, “One County, One Rival, One Heart," in the wake of the death of a Severna Park High School student.
Broadneck High School’s girls lacrosse team showed up at a Severna Park High School lacrosse game on Thursday wearing T-shirts bearing a message of support for Tracy Vander Kolk, 16, a SPHS student and lacrosse player, who died earlier in May.
The idea for the T-shirts came from Broadneck High School (BHS) lacrosse player Blair Bernhardt, who played with Vander Kolk when she was younger. Bernhardt said her idea spread among the team, and within two days, they had the shirts made.
The front of the shirts reads: “Always Remember Tracy #15,” and the back reads, “One County, One Rival, One Heart.”
BHS lacrosse team captain Anna Haley said Bernhardt’s idea struck a chord with the team, and everyone agreed with the plan.
“Four of our sophomores were particularly affected by Tracy's death, because they played club with her and her sister," Haley said. "These girls had played together since sixth grade. And even though we're fierce competitors on the field, we're still all friends."
Head Coach Karen Tengwall said the girls came to her with the idea fully formed, and she was all for it.
"It's a small community, and we believe that when one team faces such tragedy, we are all affected, and are all one," Tengwall said.
Haley said that when they ordered the shirts, the company rushed the order on behalf of the girls’ positive message.
Haley said those first moments showing up at their rivals’ game wearing the shirts were a little awkward. But that feeling soon turned into genuine affection as the message sunk in.
“We're bred to be rivals of Severna Park,” Haley said. “And sure we all say that, but when you see us together like this, we're all really just friends, and we support each other. I think it created a good, a loving atmosphere."