Sierra Gabbert honored before today's game

Posted at 12:11 AM, May 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-05 03:11:26-04

Losing someone is never easy, but when it's your teammate or best friend it's even harder.

For the West High softball team, the all too real experience continued today before their game against Golden Valley.

For the West High School softball team, this season looked promising.

They had a new head coach and a true leader in Sierra Gabbert at catcher.

But today a celebration different from what they expected when the season started.

Instead of celebrating a win, the team remembered the friend they lost just one week ago.

“Sierra was my general on the field. She would move people around and tell them what to do before I even had a chance,” said Head Coach Jacqueline East.

On the same field where Gabbert led her team, coaches and players from both teams gathered to pay their respects.

“In the beginning it was just going to be the softball teams and then our baseball team said 'uh, uh' we want to be a part of it. So then it was OK I need your baseball teams and everybody was was a great idea,” said West High Athletic Director Scott Davisson.

But perhaps the girl with the day's toughest job, was Gabbert's teammate Jasmine Salcedo, asked to take the reins of the team as catcher.  

She considered Gabbert her idol.

“It was really difficult because she does it better than me. And she's always there. And yeah just I miss her and I love her so much and we'll see her soon,” said Salcedo.

But Gabbert's spirit still took the field today as members of both teams sported green and yellow wristbands in her memory.

“They just say Sierra Gabbert, #19. And that just represents her number here on the team and her spot. You know we really miss her and we're going to keep her in our hearts and minds. And the umpires were nice enough to let us wear them during the game,” said East.

And now as the team and family look to the future, a place Gabbert once ruled over as the general has been named in her honor.

“In honor of Sierra. For the remainder of the season this softball field will be known as Gabbert Field. We love you Sierra, until we meet again,” said East.

Looking forward Coach East believes Gabbert's reputation will help to inspire the next generation of softball players at West High, because each spring that same #19 jersey that Gabbert once wore, will be missing.

Reminding everyone of the day they lost their general.