Franklin Springs, GA - Softball Coach Wesley King passed away Monday afternoon after a hard fought battle against lung and bone cancer. Through his four years here at Emmanuel, he has made a huge impact on every player and over the course of his coaching career of 35 years, he has touched countless young ladies lives. Coach King was a Vietnam Vet and retired Georgia State Trooper, he lived a life of serving and protecting others.
We are blessed to know him, to love him, and to call him friend.
The Emmanuel Lady Lions would like to share their thoughts and memories of Coach King to give you all a little scoop of one of the greatest men they knew.
Senior Kalen Callaway
"I am truly honored to have known such a wonderful man and coach. A memory I will never forget about Coach King is when someone would pick the softball up with their glove. When he would catch you, he would immediately yell their number or name and say something along the lines of "Drop it now pick it up with your hand." He then would laugh. Coach King was one of a kind. He would always put others before himself. He wanted each of his players to succeed not only on the softball field but in life too. I will always cherish the memories I had with Coach King. I can't thank him enough for everything he has done and taught me over the years. Roll Tide Roll Coach!"
Kalen spent four years as a Lady Lion under the guidance of Coach King.
Senior Nina Rodriguez
"Last year when I met Coach King, I instantly loved him. To all of us his wise words and heart meant so much. The feeling of him being gone is a lot to take in, but I know Coach King is up in Heaven probably making jokes and having a good time. I will love and miss him dearly. Roll Tide Roll. See you soon Coach King"
Nina wanted to share their Reverse Ball Cap Joke where Coach King would give her the hardest time about "Never seeing that kind of hat before!!"
Lastly, Nina wanted to share Coach King's wise words that were given to her at the loss of Nina's good friend. "This time of life is something you'll never get used to but the only way you can pull through is if you've got friends."
Kara and Madison definitely won't forget the laughs and memories made around Coach King. Some of their favorites include Coach King's traditional personalized handshake with each player and always giving them a hard time. For example, pointing to the sky when someone said "What's Up?"
Junior Halle Cheek
Coach King from the start gave Halle a hard time knowing that she came from Hart County, rival school to Elberton-- where He coached for many years. Constantly keeping the rivalry alive, they always talked about current high school sports. Their rivalry ended there as Halle and Coach King would bond and become great friends.
"I will say that the rivalry brought us closer together and from now on I will root for Elbert County (except when playing Hart) in memory of one of the greatest guys I know. Even though he "wouldn't be caught wearing that gaudy, ugly orange", as Coach King used to say, I'm sure he will get a kick out of seeing me in that ugly navy blue… Hopefully my skin won't burn off. I love you Coach King."
The 2018 class came together to reminisce their favorite memories about Coach King. Some of them include him constantly watching to see if anyone picked the ball up with their glove, and when Coach Kacey would sneak and hit a ball close to him so he'd have to move when hitting the outfielders defense. One of their favorite memories would be Coach King's special prayer before each game that always got them pumped up and ready to kick butt.
Jessica Allen commented to say, "He was definitely the life out there on the field; Never a dull moment. He was always the first to ask about how your day went or how everything was at home. He cared not only about softball but how our personal lives were too. Coach was always a joy to be around. We'll always remember him and carry his love with us. We love you Coach King!"
Even though their time with Coach King was cut short, the freshman class will never forget his warm welcome to sooth their nerves. In the short amount of time they were able to spend with him, he went out of his way to create a bond and impact each girl.
Jessica Brett shared how Coach King explained it was still "just a game," when he found out she was nervous about the new season. Jessica Commented on how selfless she could tell he was and just how much he cared, especially after all the days he continued to check up on her and her recovery from knee surgery.
Crystal Busbee commented to say, "I know we didn't get to spend as much time with him as we would've liked this year but in the short time we had I learned a lot. Coach King had lots of patience and always went out of his way to make everyone feel welcome. I really thought it was neat how for every holiday he sent out a personal signed card to each player; small things like that took time but definitely showed just how much he cared."
Head Coach Kacey Alexander also wanted to add to the memories and thoughts by saying, "Coach King was truly a blessing. He was an amazing man, an outstanding coach, and a great friend. I will be forever grateful for the wisdom he shared with me. His legacy will live on as we continue his traditions and honor him on the field."
The Lady Lions would like to request your thoughts and prayers for Coach King's family and friends. The team is celebrating their time spent with him and looking forward to seeing him again one day.
For More EC Lions News, please visit: www.goeclions.com