A special visit
Teammates visit family on one-year anniversary of Brandon Harris’ death
In the game of hockey, teammates become family.
In some cases, they become closer than actual family. You spend hours on the road, in the dressing room and on the ice together. That bond, forged in sweat, just becomes stronger as the years pass.
A year ago, the CeeBees midget A team lost a member of their family when Brandon Harris tragically died on Dec. 17.
On the one-year anniversary of his death, Brandon’s teammates made the hour-long journey to the family’s home in Sibley’s Cove to spend time with the family and remember their late teammate.
His father never stopped smiling the whole time we were there. Jordan Coombs
That team’s captain, Josh Rodgers, came up with the idea and 15 of his teammates dressed in the familiar red, white and blue to take the somber drive along the Conception Bay Highway.
Trips like these, just like losing a teammate, are never easy. There is no way to know how the family will react or what emotions the journey will draw out of you.
“His father never stopped smiling the whole time we were there,” said forward Jordan Coombs.
During the couple of hours they spent with the Harris family, the CeeBees spent their time talking about the memories of Brandon and hockey. They probably spoke of his exceptional skill or is quiet and caring demeanor.
“We told a whole bunch of stories and just sat down for a few hours talking to his family,” said Coombs. “We just wanted to ease their minds.”
The tragedy sent shockwaves through the Trinity-Conception area and the provincial hockey community. Hundreds of people filled into Baccalieu Collegiate in Old Perlican for the funeral.
The team dedicated the rest of the year to Harris’ memory and pledged to win it for their brother. In the hockey world, there is no bigger tribute than that.
Fuelled by his memory and the No. 6 CeeBees’ home jersey that hung on the bench behind them, the CeeBees paid Brandon the ultimate tribute by capturing a provincial title on home ice.
It was supposed to be Brandon’s title, and in some ways it was.
On Dec. 17, social media was flooded with messages remembering Brandon. Daniel Curran wrote, ”You will never be forgotten and you will live on in our hearts.”
Curran was among those who held on to Brandon’s memory the strongest. He made sure the jersey was seen at practice and games.
There were other messages like his. Others that pledged to remember Brandon and what he stood for.
The CeeBee Stars pledged to never use the No. 6 again and the CeeBees family comforted their own. Teammates never forget each other. “We’re all family,” said Coombs.
Members of the 2014-2015 CeeBees midget A team paid a special visit to the family of Brandon Harris last week on the anniversary of his death.