MASON, W.Va. — Hundreds of former coaches, classmates, family and friends gathered Sunday evening on the Wahama High School football field to remember the late Kane Roush.
Only a week earlier on Easter morning, Roush, an outstanding school athlete, especially in football, died from gunshot wounds he sustained at his home in Pomeroy, Ohio.
Those attending the memorial lined the perimeter of the football field. Candles were lit in his memory, and balloons and lanterns were launched.
Among those speaking were some of Roush’s former coaches, including Ed Cromley, Ryan Russell, and Dave Barr.
Cromley spoke of the legacy Roush left behind in living life to its fullest. He challenged those attending to do as Roush did and “put more life in our minutes.”
Russell listed Roush’s accomplishments as a high school wrestler. He spoke of his relaxed attitude and said there wasn’t anything Roush couldn’t do as an athlete.
Barr called Roush a “force of nature.” He said even when Roush was in elementary school, coaches were told they had a “special one coming.” He said as an athlete, Roush was a force of nature, and it was unbelievable what he could do.
But most of all, Barr said, Roush was a force of nature as a human being. He described Roush as friendly to everyone and well-loved. He told those attending that while everyone is questioning why anyone would want to hurt Roush and is sad, someday something Roush did or said would be remembered and bring a smile.
Roush’s brother, Austin Cole, spoke of Roush’s explosiveness on the football field on Friday nights that brought so many out to watch. He reminisced of younger days playing backyard football, where no one could keep up with Roush. And while he said many would expect a moment of silence at such an occasion, he led the crowd in raising their heads and yelling, “We love you, Kane Roush.”
A song, “Number 15,” signifying Roush’s football number, was played prior to the lighting of the candles and the balloon and lantern launch. It was written and sung by Bretton Casto, local guitarist and vocalist.
Roush’s service was held April 8 at Northbend Church. No arrests in the incident have been made.
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Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.