Triumph – Tragedy

How do we explain Saturday?

It will be a day Coweta County long remembers, one of celebration and mourning.

A day of great triumph for girls' high school sports. A day of great tragedy for high school sports in general.

The Northgate Lady Vikings soccer team won the state championship. Tyler Henson, a junior at The Heritage School and All-State team football player, died in a single-car accident, hours beforehand.

At times the English language fails. Bittersweet seems grossly inadequate in describing the incredible highs and lows of that day – May 18, 2013. And it is brutally hard to try and offer the appropriate accolades and condolences that will forever mark that day.

While the Lady Vikings were warming up for the biggest game of their lives, rescuers were pulling 17-year-old Tyler's body from his crushed car.

To quote the opening sentence in M. Scott Peck's internationally acclaimed book, The Road Less Traveled, 'Life is hard.' It is also, at times like these, unfair.

We have a state championship. We have lost a very talented multi-sport athlete.

To the Lady Vikings, we offer heartfelt congratulations, with lots of exclamation points. We are reminded of what Hannah Murray, cocaptain of the Vikings, wrote her teammates prior to their defeating McIntosh earlier this week to make it to Saturday's game: 'It's your time, it's my time, it's our time.' Ladies – it is indeed your time. We salute you.

To the family and friends of Tyler: On behalf of the owners and staff of The Newnan Times-Herald, we can only offer our tears, sorrow and prayers. May you be surrounded in God's love in this time of grief.

'For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.' Romans 8:38

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