By Gary Lloyd
Clay-Chalkville 56, Hewitt-Trussville 14.
That score was a blowout, and the game was relatively uninteresting by halftime.
As ugly as that score is, there is some beauty in it.
Add the winning score to the losing score, and it equals 70. That was Brock Bowman’s jersey number. He would have been a junior on Hewitt-Trussville’s offensive line this season, possibly starting at right tackle.
“It’s amazing how God had a way to show us that Brock is still with us,” said Wesley Meier, a Clay-Chalkville student who grew up playing baseball with Bowman.
His number has been a source of togetherness for the Trussville community and other nearby cities since his drowning death earlier this month.
Shirts were made in his honor. Hewitt-Trussville’s players wear it in ink on their cleats, in sticker form on their helmets. It’s been drawn on car windshields, flown on flags around town and typed in Twitter posts seemingly thousands of times.
At last week’s jamboree against Pinson Valley, the end zones had the number painted on them. Pinson Valley brought a sign honoring Bowman. The banner the team broke through said, “Forever loved, never forgotten” with the No. 70 in huge, red ink.
On Friday night at Clay-Chalkville, there was a moment of silence for Bowman before kickoff. Members of Clay-Chalkville’s student section made a sign showing their love for Bowman, and some painted “#70” on their arms. A poem written by a Hewitt-Trussville classmate of Bowman was read over the stadium’s PA system.
The game was never really close. Clay-Chalkville went up 21-0 before Hewitt-Trussville scored its first touchdown. But the final score is even inspiring for the team that lost.
“56+14=70. You were there with us win or loss. Love you big guy. #wemissyou,” Hewitt-Trussville sophomore defensive back Andy Chappell tweeted after the game.
Contact Gary Lloyd at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.