Football team offers support to teammate during tragedy

Many of the students here at Bluffton have experienced the strong community aspect that the University strives for, but none have felt it the same way as Jacob Harmon. A typical Bluffton student, Harmon is a Junior middle school education major and a member of the football team.

“I want to get a job in teaching… and coach somewhere. I just want to make a difference somewhere, and represent myself and my school in a proper manner.” Harmon said.

However earlier this year, Harmon suffered a tragedy that was anything but typical. Harmon’s mother, Angie, had a heart attack and suddenly passed away.

“My biggest inspiration would have to be my mom and family.” Harmon said.

Photo courtesy of: Jacob Harmon Front row Left to right: Jake Harmon, Angie Harmon. Back row Left to right: Tony Springer, Ali Harmon, Cassundra Harmon, Josh Harmon, Jeff Harmon.

Knowing this, many students sent their condolences, but a group of men from the football team went above and beyond for their friend in distress.

Some of Harmon’s closest friends from the team met together and drove to his mother’s funeral to support him and help in anyway possible. A few of these students were Hayden Thomas, Connor Sheehan, Hayden Clark and Gino Spadaro.

Photo courtesy of Jacob Harmon Bottom Left to Right: Hayden Clark, Josh Leo Top left to right: Jake Harmon, Aaron Letinksi

“[I was] overwhelmed at first, driving that way for me, and showing support for the team… It was very overwhelming and I very much appreciate that,” said Harmon.

“The guys around here, and the people around here are just great.” Harmon says. Harmon mentioned that some of his closest friends, Aaron Letinski, James Letinski, Colton Royer, Ryan Walden, Ryan Aelker and Austin Spiece were also in attendance.

The coaches did not organize the group that went to support Harmon, but were very proud of their players for showing such support and respect towards a teammate.

Harmon believes he has a good relationship with the coaching staff, who were also in attendance at his mother’s funeral. “They are really, really compassionate guys, they’ll be there for you whenever.” Harmon says.

Harmon is glad that he chose to come to Bluffton, he likes the people here and believes that he made a good choice by being a part of the football team, who he says represent Bluffton’s core values in their daily activities. Community and Respect are just two of the four values that the football team strives to live by.

“We’re the largest student body, player-wise, on campus… We do a lot of community work… and it’s great what the coaching staff has brought here and what they’re teaching us to do.” said Harmon.

The football team has over eighty members. Many of which, recently participated in the “Samaritan’s feet team” which helped distribute shoes to children in need in Indianapolis, along with many other division three HCAC football players. – By: Sophie Hobbs