Tim Tebow and Missy Franklin call victims of car accident in Section 2

There was a terrible tragedy in Section 2 over the weekend.

A group of four high school athletes from Shenendehowa and Shaker High Schools were driving home after watching Siena and UAlbany’s annual basketball game at the Times Union Center. On I-87, their vehicle was hit by a drunk driver. Two of the athletes, Chris Stewart, senior captain of the Shenendehowa football team, and Deanna Rivers, a senior softball player at Shen, were killed.

The other two passengers, Bailey Wind, a senior diver at Shaker who had just committed to Tennessee, and Matt Hardy, a junior multi-sport star at Shen, survived and are currently in a hospital.

My pal Stan Hudy of The Saratogian has more details here: http://www.cnweekly.com/articles/2012/12/03/sports/doc50bbc73e2ae6c328590639.txt

You may also read more here: http://www.cnweekly.com/articles/2012/12/03/news/doc50bcd3d3d632b925122975.txt
and here:

Monday evening, friends of the survivors took to Twitter in an effort to get Matt and Bailey’s favorite athletes, Tim Tebow and Missy Franklin, respectively, to call them in support. Within minutes, the hashtags #TebowCallMatt and #MissyCallBailey were trending nationally on Twitter.

Not long after that, both Franklin, an Olympic gold medalist, and Tebow, a quarterback for the New York Jets, had placed calls.

The power of Twitter.

Most touching of all, to me, as someone who has covered high school sports in Section 2, was this photo posted on Facebook on Monday:

That is a group of students at Saratoga Springs, who wore green – Shenendehowa’s school color – to school on Monday in support of the student-athletes who are their most bitter rivals on the playing field. The hatred between these schools, in an athletic sense, runs deep. It was an incredible gesture.

As we deal with another recent tragic accident closer to home, those in Section 2 have certainly given us a model as to how a community best rallies around misfortune.

Update: As I scrolled through Twitter after posting this, I see that a huge number of students in Section 9 are planning to wear blue tomorrow in support of Bailey and Matt. If you have any stories you’d like to share about how Section 9 athletes came together in the wake of this accident, please let me know on Twitter: @THR_Montgomery. We’ll be following the story on Tuesday.

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    Ken McMillan

    Sports editor Ken McMillan has been covering sports since he got his first writing job in 1979. He has covered Section 9 athletics for the past 35 years. He reports on local college and high school. He also writes on TV/radio sports news, having ... Read Full

    Sal Interdonato

    Award-winning writer Sal Interdonato has been on the Army football beat since 2007. He'll take you inside the huddle and into the lives of the Black Knights. Read Full
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