“It's been painful; it's been long; it's been tiring, exhausting emotionally,” Stigler coach Chris Risenhoover said. “If you're not just hooked up busy, if you find yourself with any time at all, it's on your mind.
“We tried to get around this week and focus on football when we could to keep our mind on it. We also want to make sure we were enjoying each other everyday in practice.”
Stigler came into this season with plenty of promise. The Panthers had district championships and playoff successes in their minds. No matter how far Stigler goes, though, winning can only bring about a certain amount of help.
“It was hard on all of us losing Cory,” Drewry said. “We were just starting to get over it and then this happens again and everything starts coming back, not only with Gordon but about Cory too.
“It's going to be hard for awhile. We're a real close football team.”
Shearwood said sometimes it's hard not to wonder when bad things will stop happening.
“A little bit,” Shearwood said. “But we're all right. The Lord's with us.”
Now, at least, the first game since the team found out about Parsons' death is in the books.
“I was trying to get it to hurry up and get here,” Risenhoover. “It's a relief to get this one behind us.”
The experience has changed Risenhoover as a coach.
“It just makes you understand to love 'em every minute,” Risenhoover said. “You don't take anything for granted.”