Webster, N.Y. – Tuesday night, the Webster Titans showed just how big their collective heart is. They came together to rally around a beloved teacher and coach.
Girls Lacrosse at Webster Thomas is synonymous with Coach Chris Barnes. He started the program in 2003, teaching the young women on the field for Tuesday’s alumni game everything they know about lacrosse.
“He taught me, personally, a lot about passion,” said Webster Thomas graduate Nicole Voci. “Seeing him show up to every practice and every game kind of meant a lot to me, and it made me want to win for him.”
And the players will tell you the lessons from Coach Barnes went beyond lacrosse.
“He’s meant a lot to me,” said graduate Kelsey Quinlan.
Now, the coach’s players are showing him just how much he meant to them, Tuesday’s game was a fundraiser to honor Coach Barnes during what’s become a two-year battle with colon cancer. It never stopped him – he worked right up until his surgery.
“He taught the kids as much about life as he did about lacrosse,” said retired athletic director Scott Morrison.
“His legacy is what he’s passed onto hundreds and hundreds of girls and their families,” said Girls Lacrosse Coach Bryan Hanley, “his spirit and how he handled himself.”
Ever the coach, even when he isn’t on the sidelines, Chris Barnes is still there – in the hearts and minds of his team.
All proceeds from Tuesday’s event will be donated to a charity of Coach Barnes’ choice.