Victoria Advocate: A tough story to write

Posted: May 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

AUSTIN – Nothing the Hallettsville Lady Brahmas could have accomplished would have taken away the pain the team, school or community felt after the tragic death of Tyler Bludau.

No victory can accelerate the grieving process or make people forget.

Even with the team’s first trip to the state softball tournament, there is still a piece of Hallettsville that is missing and will not return. A 15-0 win in the championship game wouldn’t have changed it. That is the reality of a horrible situation.

All the Lady Brahmas could do was play softball and move forward in their lives. They played with the purpose of LB for TB, and it hasn’t been easy for the 15 players, two statisticians, three coaches and their fans. No one knew how to react after Tyler’s death. After all, does a simple game like softball even matter after something as terrible as a friend’s death?

The team pulled together and never stopped talking to each other in an attempt to avoid silence. They also pulled together and created cheers.

The bleachers at McCombs Field on Saturday were full of Hallettsville fans, most wearing maroon shirts with “LB for TB” on the back of them. Signs of encouragement and remembrance were on the fences and in the dugout. Players had Bludau’s baseball No. 3 and the letters TB painted on their faces.

Tyler Bludau was not there physically, but his memory was overwhelmingly evident.

“We were doing this for Tyler,” Hallettsville senior Callie Herrington said. “It has been really tough for everyone, but we pulled through together.”

After the final out of a 32-10 season was made, the Lady Brahmas stood down the first base line as the second best Class 2A softball team in the entire state. They had just lost 3-0 to Brock in the state championship game, but their heads were held high and they were composed well beyond their age. Their parents and the community (including Tyler Bludau’s parents) stood in the stands smiling and cheering as the team were handed the Class 2A runner-up trophy and medals.

Nothing has been easy the past two weeks, but Hallettsville made it further than any other team in its program’s history ever had.

The Lady Brahmas had found their escape, gave the community a reason to cheer, to smile and to feel proud. And the town did the same for the Lady Brahmas.

“The support shown to us by the community is just awesome,” said Hallettsville head coach Mike Mikeska. “Words can’t describe the emotion I felt looking into the stands and seeing everyone here for us.”

Lady Brahmas for Tyler Bludau says it all.

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