Moments before Friday night’s Greeneview-Arcanum high school football game, fans on both sides of the field stood up and applauded as the black-jerseyed Greenon Knights high school football team walked in together.
Football was the last thing on the Greenon players’ minds, but it was also what was keeping the Knights together on this night. Earlier on Friday, they were at their own stadium, attending a funeral for two of their teammates.
Just days after Connor Williams of Fairborn and David Waag of Beavercreek died in a car accident, the Knights team canceled their scheduled Friday game in their teammates’ memory.
Sitting in the Greeneview stands with his fellow coaches and players, Greenon coach Josh Wooten said there’s no plans to make the game up. “No. I made the decision with the help of our school principal and superintendent that it was probably in the best interests for our kids, and for the two families that we not play the game, that it not be rescheduled.”
Greeneview Athletic Director Mark Rinehart said the school reached out to their new Ohio Heritage Conference member to the north.
“Since the accident, Greenon has been doing a lot of team activities together as a way of staying as connected as they can,”
Rinehart said. “The visitation and funeral was held today on their football field. They were going to go bowling or find some kind of other activity to do together, but some of the Greenon captains came to their coach and said ‘Coach, we’d like to go to a football game.’
“I heard about it. And their AD and I talked a little bit, and he asked ‘Well, would you have us?’ And I said we’d have them 100 percent,” Rinehart said.
The Greeneview student section wore black T-shirts as part of a Black Out in honor of their fallen friends at Greenon. Wooten said that some of the Greenon team members saw on social media that the Rams students were going to do that, and that was part of what led the team to come to Don Nock Field.
A moment of silence was observed before the opening kickoff.
The Knights players joined the Greeneview student section in the home grandstand.
Rivalries didn’t matter on this night.
“We’re thankful for everybody who has been so supportive of us, here in this difficult time. We appreciate their thoughts and prayers, our kids and community are excited about moving on from this, but today … this day was for our players,” Wooten said.