By Krys Manchette
Born with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, Trace Young was an honorary manager for the Lady Rebels Basketball Team during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons. He was considered the largest fan of the team, always at the games to support the ladies however he could. Sadly, he passed away during the summer of 2015. In August of 2016, the Trace My Heart Foundation began in his honor, to help bring awareness to disabilities and help people fund for necessary medical equipment.
On December 8th, 9th, and 10th, the Trace My Heart Foundation and Weld Central High School teamed up to put on the First Annual Trace Young Memorial Tournament, hosting 32 teams in total from across Colorado. Starting off the day, Resurrection Christian Academy girls team had a student pass away that morning, which led them to turn around and forfeit the first game against Falcon, who wanted to play a game to avoid their own forfeit if they couldn’t. This caused confusion for many people and the schedules on some of the teams. All was worked out, and the Lady Rebels Junior Varsity team played against Greeley West, winning 55-14 and moving up to the next round. Due to Resurrection Christian’s forfeiture, the Varsity Lady Rebels gave Falcon their game against William Smith, counting their game against Resurrection as an automatic win, leading the Rebels to play the Hinkley T-Birds on Friday the 9th.
During their game against the T-Birds, Weld Central lead the entire game until the last five minutes, where the score was tied 26-26. In the last minute, Hinkley was allowed a free throw and won the game 27-26. An outstanding player during the game for the Lady Rebels was #5, Izzy Leet, pressuring the ball against the T-Birds and leaving everything on the court. Pondering the question about how the memorial tournament will do years later from now, Andrea Martinez commented, “I hope it’s still running. It’s beneficial to the cause (to help the Trace My Heart Foundation,) and a good thing to play for.” Coach Canaday was asked the same question, and replied eagerly, “This tournament is already going to be expanding next year, we have teams calling to join and help out with supporting the foundation!”
Vice Principal Richardson, responding about the tournament bringing a supportive name to the Rebels, believes that anything to help a supportive cause can help bring a community together. That’s something the Rebels are proud to be a part of.
Mrs. Devoe, having been directly impacted by Trace Young, stayed at the booth by the Young family’s side and only left on Friday to watch a portion of the Lady Rebels play Hinkley. She was asked if working with the foundation has given her any life lessons or advice to pass on, she replied whole-heartedly, “Working with them [The Trace My Heart Foundation] has impacted me,” Devoe said, adding that she has been fortunate enough to both “know Trace personally, and sit as one of their Board of Directors. So anytime anyone like Trace can be a life lesson, I want to be a part of it and learn.”
The Tournament has made an impact on everyone involved, and made everyone grateful to be able to live and enjoy life as much as Trace did. The tradition of honoring him with the new annual basketball tournament will keep everyone on their toes, and teach a life lesson that no matter who you are, you can make an impact on the people surrounding you.
Photographer: Estefany Mendoza