An estimated crowd of 300 people met at the Broken Bow High School football field Monday evening in a display of love and support for the two coaches lost last week, and the three student athletes who remain hospitalized with injuries resulting from last Friday's accident.
Students were encouraged to write messages on the red and white balloons handed out, as a way of expressing their thoughts and coping with their pain. The members of the school's boys basketball team, of which Anthony Blum was head coach and Zane Harvey was assistant coach, met on the track in a huddle prior to the balloon release. Five of those players were in the school van when the accident occurred, some of them still showing obvious signs of pain and injury.
As the Husker tunnel music played over the loud speakers, the basketball team somberly led the large contingent of students, school staff and community members into the middle of the football field. Following a moment of silence, the team members counted down to the release of the hundreds of balloons. For a few moments the sky overhead took on a cover of red and white as the balloons gracefully floated up, up and away.
Few words were spoken, but the message was loud and clear. Rest in peace Coach Blum and Coach Harvey, and come home soon Scott Gates, Austin Reynolds and Chad Christensen.