KANSAS CITY, Kan. (WIBW) Football's returning to Topeka.
"It's really exciting. It's finally here. Can't wait for it." Senior offensive linemen Kyle Hinton said.
(Courtesy: Washburn University Athletics Dept.)
Senior defensive back Josh Wright runs track in the spring. He loves track, but couldn't wait to put back on the pads.
"During the offseason and the spring I just want to get back to football."
But for Washburn, it's hard not to think about those who won't be suiting up anymore.
"He was that guy who worked every day no matter what." Wright said.
"His legacy will live on." Head coach Craig Schurig said.
*When it first happened, it was really rough. It's still rough. It's hard." Wright said.
The Ichabods have mourned the death of their teammate, Dwane Simmons. He died in a shooting last April.
"It's hard for all of us. Even the ones who weren't really close to Dwane. Everybody's feeling the impact. The ripples." Wright said.
In the wake of tragedy, the team grieved together. A tighter bond developed in the collective tears.
"When it happened, we were all open with each other. We talked with each other. And we were all just there for each other." Hinton said.
"It's pretty nice to be able to look to your left or right or in front of you or behind you and to know a guy on the team is saying 'I got you. I've got your back because I feel it too.'" Wright said.
Now the team looks forward, carrying the memory of a fallen brother.
"It's in everyone's heart. Whether you're a coach, player or trainer. Whoever's involved with the program, you're going to carry a piece of Dwane with you." Coach Schurig said.