Midland College pays tribute to USW after final round

MIDLAND, Texas: While returning from a tournament in Midland, the van carrying the Southwestern University men’s and women’s golf team crashed into a van in Andrews County, according to Texas DPS.

Of the 11 people in the two vehicles, nine died at the scene and two golfers remain hospitalized in Lubbock. Among the dead were the team’s head coach, Tyler James, and six student-athletes, including Karissa Raines, 21, of Fort Stockton.

“We won’t forget,” said Midland College athletic director Forrest Allen. “We won’t forget their children, and we’re going to do everything we can to keep those names alive.”

And the tragedy has hit the local golf community hard, with so many of these golfers knowing each other well. Southwest University had four Permian Basin players on their roster.

“They know each other, they’ve played in tournaments against each other growing up and knowing each other at least by name,” Allen said. “So obviously that part of it has it hitting a little bit closer to home.”

With the second day of the tournament canceled on Wednesday, it was time to clear the course scoreboard. After a morning of prayer, the Midland College golf team decided to keep the USW scorecard alone on the board.

“It’s symbolic,” Allen said. “It’s our way of remembering the members of this team and the coach who lost their lives.”

So the card still stands alone, a card pinned to the board just a day ago, a stark reminder of how quickly anything can be removed.

“These kids were doing something they loved,” Allen said. “They were able to golf in the sun and compete. I think we would all like to go out like that, do something we love.

Midland College plans to send the scorecard to South West University for the school to keep.


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