Honouring a fallen teammate

The Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks’ men’s rugby team started a new tradition in their season opener against the Waterloo Warriors last Thursday. The team held a moment of silence and wore black memorial arm bands, paying tribute to their deceased teammate, Dave LaForest.

LaForest passed away in the fire that occurred in Waterloo College Hall residence last April, his memory has not faded.

“I can still see his smile,” said head coach Josh Windsor. “He was a pretty quiet guy but he always had a smile on his face and that’s what I’ll always remember about him.”

With LaForest on their minds, the Hawks opened their season with a 24-20 win over the Warriors.

The team dedicated the victory to the memory of their teammate and began the moment of silence tradition.

“The team’s really responded in a positive manner,” said Windsor. “I think the university as a whole has been really heartfelt about the passing of one of their students and I think that’s a reflection of not only our group of guys, but the Wilfrid Laurier community as a whole.”

The Hawks continued their season on Saturday and put in a solid effort against a tough opponent in the Western Mustangs. Though the Hawks came up short, losing 22-14, they kept LaForest in their hearts, once again honouring him pre-game.

The impact of losing a teammate is something that will not fade easily; Windsor sees this as a chance for the players to grow and learn.

“I think what it’s done is bring these guys closer together,” he said.

“When you’re young, you don’t really understand your own mortality or what time really is. But with Dave’s passing I think the guys have really learned that you can’t waste a second of life.”

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