Remembrance of Samantha by: Peg Adams, Samantha's High School Tennis Coach

First, I would like to thank Sam's mom, Jonna for such an honor to speak about her lovely daughter. I am deeply touched.

My name is Peg Adams, I am one of Sam's tennis coaches for the past 4 years at WHS. When I decided I would like to help coach at the high school I needed to get the stamp of approval from my son Anthony. You see, he was going out for the team too. I received his blessing but with one stipulation...TELL NOBODY I AM HIS MOM.

Our first tennis meeting was just "housekeeping matters," what to bring to practice, how long practice would be and fill out papers, and of course the dreade..WHO HAD TO CARRY THE WATER to the practice!

Our second practice was inside due to rain. Well, somehow the word got out...I WAS ANTHONY'S MOM! Sam was one of the first girls who came up to me and asked if the rumor was true? I confirmed for her, YES, I am Anthony's mom---her response, THAT'S COOL! I thought to myself she is a sweet sweet girl.

Sam was always at practice no matter how cold or hot, she was so positive and happy. She would light up any tennis court. During matches I always enjoyed going up to the fence and talking to her, it didn't matter if she was winning or losing she was always having fun. I would ask her, "what's the score Sam?"..."Oh, I'm down 2-5 but she is really nice and today is her birthday." I would come back and say "SAM, I don't care if it's her birthday you are supposed to win." She would just answer back "OK Coach."

Other times she would come off the court and I would ask, who won? She would respond, "Oh she did, but that's OK, I know where she got her purse"..."Did you have fun Sam"..."Yea, I had a blast" Her positive attitude was just so contagious.

Sam got a lot of flak from some of the boys on the team, (don't worry Brad Miller and Kyle Marshall I won't tell anyone it was you). "Sam, you gotta go out there and be MEAN, swing that racket and win that point."Her response..."I can't, I just like everyone," and that is the truth, she did and it showed.

Jonna too learned the game of tennis over the four years, she was at almost every match sitting right behind her daughter. She would cheer her on even if she didn't know the score or who was doing what. Every now and then I would walk by her and she would ask me, "was that Samantha's point?" Just a couple of weeks ago, we were playing I think North Carroll. Sam had her work cut out for her, this girl was giving her a run for her money. Sam served the ball and this girl came back with a nice slice back hand to the open court. Who do I hear telling her what to do, but Jonna! "Samantha get over to that side of the court!" I looked over at her and just chuckled. Jonna then tells me, go to the fence and tell her to get to that side of the court. So, I did "Sam, honey, once you serve, you need to approach the net and get to that side of the court."She told me "she knows but it's difficult." I said,"Sam, that's why they call it tennis."

In conclusion I would like quote a song by Kenny Chesney, titled "Who You'd Be Today":

Sunny days seem to hurt the most
I wear the pain like a heavy coat
I feel you everywhere I go
I see your smile, I see your face
I hear you laughing in the rain
It ain't fair you died too young
Like a story that had just begun
But death tore the pages all away
God knows how we miss you
All the pain we have been through
Just knowing no one could take your place

Remember Sam with smiles and laughter, for that is how she will remember you. If you can only remember her with tears then don't remember her at all.

Remember Sam with a smile, your tears should last just a little while, remember she is watching over you. Remember all the good times you had, dry your tears and don't be sad. Remember our hearts were filled with laughter just as her love will last forever.

God must have needed a volleyball player who played tennis, or a tennis player who played volleyball.

God Bless you all.

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