Oklahoma Bible doubles player Katie Irwin tried to convince her partner, Molly Cannon, they could forfeit their second match of the day — even while Cannon changed from her dress clothes into her tennis outfit.
There was no changing Cannon's mind. She was not going to let her team down or her grandpa.
“Let's go play,” Cannon said.
On Monday, Cannon's grandfather, Lawrence “Larry” Goodson Cannon, died at age 79. OBA's No. 2 doubles team forfeited its first match that was scheduled for 10:45 a.m. Friday since Cannon's grandfather's funeral didn't start until 11:30 a.m.
Around 2:30 p.m., OBA coach Judy Glazier received a phone call from Molly Cannon asking if she would still make it for match No. 2. Glazier said yes.
Cannon's aunt and uncle “cut people off and drove like speed demons” to try to get from Blackwell to the Oklahoma City's Tennis Center. Cannon was still a crying mess, but she kept telling herself to pull it together.
“I didn't want to let my team down, and I knew (Katie) wasn't going to be able to play,” Cannon said. “My mom told me to play for my grandpa.”
Lawrence Cannon was a farmer, or to his granddaughter, “a big man.”
“He loved people, and he loved God with all he had,” Molly Cannon said.
The last time she saw her grandfather, who lived in Blackwell, was two weeks ago. He had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease for the past couple years. Molly said he wasn't really allowed to leave his house.
On Sunday, Cannon's dad went to visit Lawrence Cannon and asked her to join.