Remarks by Jim Sanchez
Cross Country Coach
Memorial Garden Dedication
Sept. 13, 2002

Camaraderie.

Camaraderie is about friendship.

Camaraderie is about coming together and enjoying each others' company. Opening oneself, respecting and accepting each other for who they are.

Camaraderie is why we're here today and camaraderie, unfortunately, is why our eight guys are gone. They did go together!

Camaraderie, however, is an honorable trait. It is one of the bright colors of life.

College is a wonderful place to experience this attribute along with other characteristics, another one being symbolism.

For cross country is the most natural sport at Wyoming.

Cross country is about trees and dirt and grass and rocks and wind.

These features also link a flavor of the past heritage to the present. For the Cowboys of old acquired their camaraderie while out riding the trails and the prairie and around the campfires. They would return back to the ranch and bunkhouses for rest where they would nurture their relationship even more.

The Cowboys of now develop their companionship while running the trails and prairie, with their campfires being motels. They return back to campus to their locker room and lounge for restoration and relaxation where their bond strengthens even more.

This is a wonderful added tribute to our athletics surroundings.

We now turn to our eight young Cowboys. As a team, our purpose here today is to acknowledge them as teammates-not to put them up on a pedestal. Yet, in a sense, they are up on one. That's because they put themselves up there! For they were the ones who were up and running at 6am every morning. They were the ones logging 800-1100 miles in the summer in preparation for the upcoming seasons. They were the ones who competed the cross country season, the indoor season and the outdoor season. Three months of preparation, nine months of competition, and a two week break and start over again. They were the ones with an accumulative grade point average of 3.78, thus being recognized as an “All American Academic Cross Country Team.” This was their lifestyle. And. as Brutus Hamilton said many years ago of distance runners, "...............don't pity them, don't feel sorry for them. Better envy them instead. For these are their golden days.........". So indeed, as Coach Yentes stated at last year's campus ceremony, "they are the role models of today's youth".

Josh. Shane. Cody. Morgan. Justin. Kevin. Nick. Kyle.

Each one of you had wonderful individual traits.

You have and will receive praises by many, however, we as a team feel that there is no greater honor than to be acknowledged by your own teammates, your comrades. For they were the ones that were with you on that long run. that hard run, that cold run. They were the ones who you shared your dreams with, who you aspired with. They were the ones who you celebrated your moments of glory with. And, they were the ones who picked you up when you fell on your face. just as you picked them up when they fell on theirs.

Teammate Joel Hess eloquently said it best in his dedicated poems to you.

Our tribute is simple and sincere when we state that you wore the uniform, you wore the cowboy flag.

Go to home page