Marion community gathers to remember Evan Woodward, Taylor Christie
Marion, N.Y. – Friday night, the Marion community honored two brothers killed in a car crash last month.
16-year-old Evan Woodward and 20-year-old Taylor Christie died not long after Taylor picked Evan up from basketball practice. Friday, the basketball team that both brothers once played for remembered them.
It was a very touching scene inside Marion High School, with the boys varsity team and hundreds from the community gathering to remember the boys – while honoring their parents, too.
Nearly a month after the crash, the Marion community is still reeling from Evan and Taylor’s deaths.
“We’ve had some highs and lows,” said Varsity Basketball Coach Terry Krocke. “We’ve had some practices where they’ve worked hard, and others where I let them let their hair down a little bit. I’ve kind of let them be free, because they got to work through it. I’ve got to work through it.”
“At first, it was hard to feel sad, because every time I think of them, I have happy memories," said Rodney Delyser, a 2017 graduate who played basketball with both brothers.
Rodney and the school organized Friday night’s ceremony, which featured the team dedicating the game to both brothers and presenting Taylor and Evan’s parents with their old basketball jerseys.
“It kind of breaks everybody’s heart that he’s not out there right now,” said Rodney, “especially seeing his warm-up out on the bench.”
Rodney more recently played basketball with Evan.
“I wish he was out there right now, so I could yell at him and tell him what he’s doing wrong,” said Rodney. “I miss watching him play and being a part of his basketball journey.”
He says, even long after Friday night’s ceremony, Taylor and Evan will not be forgotten.
“This will always be in people’s hearts here, even if no one knew them, the people coming up,” said Rodney. “The stories of them are going to be pure joy and happiness, and they were always the biggest smiles in the room, always made people laugh. That’s what I loved the most about all of them.”
Coach Krocke said, while Friday’s game was dedicated to both brothers, the team plans to play each game in Evan’s honor for the rest of the season.