Celebration of Samantha by: Karah Knight, Samantha's Teammate and Friend

A few weeks ago, I was having a conversation with a really good friend of mine and he told me the meaning of the word beautiful. That it meant perfection from the inside out, which no other word could touch. Ever since Saturday night, I can't stop thinking about how no one else deserves to be called beautiful more than Sam. After losing a friend from Smithsburg, I thought I'd be prepared for everything else bad in life, because every other problem I had seemed so minor compared to that. But absolutely nothing could have prepared us for Saturday night, to lose Sam. Someone so special, so significant to us, someone so full of life and love. There are moments when I feel like she could pop out somewhere and dry out cheeks and tell us everything is okay because if we were here today for anyone else, that's exactly what she would so. She would be by our sides through this, and she is, just like she has been since the day we've met her. Sam and I met after she and I both made the 14s Synergy volleyball team. Before that moment, I had never met someone so optimistic about running suicides. I know every single volleyball player here today can remember that one team they were on, when it seemed like the only words out of the coaches mouth were "Talk! You have to talk to each other! Get on the end line!" Which was also when you were in the best shape of your life running twenty suicides for every ball that dropped between two of you. But I couldn't thank coach Kim enough because every one of those suicides paid off. If there is one thing I learned on Synergy, it's that teammates had to have each other's backs. And I think that message got to Sam quicker than it got to most of us. Talking during a game is like letting your girls know you've got their backs, that you're there for them. That's one of the so many things Sam knew the importance of on and off the court. I've played with her and I've played against her and although during our Williamsport-Smithsburg games we had to play to beat one another, the moments before and after, win or lose, she would still run up to me, smiling huge, and give me a hug. I'd give the world for another moment like that. Sam knew that if you can't be there for the people in your life, you're going to lose every time, on or off the court. To the times we spent on Synergy, losing to elderly women, watching Becca run straight into a pole, laughing hysterically at the man falling back in his chair while asleep at a tournament, missing 99% of serves in a game which translated to - practice this week is going to be hell, I wouldn't take a moment back just like any other moments spent with Sam, strolling the streets of Philly with free Dairy Queen, dancing at homecoming, and best of all, Sam being curious as to what would happen if she popped a water balloon in her mouth while Mollie, Brynne and I stood back videotaping her choking while it shot down her throat. Meeting Sam and being with Sam was one of the best things I had in life and I feel bad most for the people who didn't have the privilege of meeting her. I love you with all my heart Sammy and I'll forever keep you in mind.

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