Tina Kummelman started a memorial fund to honor her late son, Tyler Pope, who died eight months ago in a car accident. Wednesday, she gave some of his teammates on the varsity lacrosse team, an honor they won’t soon forget.
“I was sort of in tears today because I realized how much this would mean to Tyler and I know he’ll be watching them and their future,” Kummelman said.
It was the last regular season home game for the men’s varsity lacrosse team. Five of them were honored by a friend who no longer shares the field with them.
“It’s been bittersweet. There’s so much excitement and I’m so proud and happy for these boys and in one aspect I’m sad that Tyler’s not out on that field,” said Kummelman.
She walked in place of Tyler with her daughter, Emily. She watched from the sideline as her surrogate sons were recognized.
“The thought of him not being here because we always talked about playing together, it hurts, so I just want to step on the field and play for him,” said friend and scholarship recipient, Jack Moody.
His family and friends say Tyler will always be remembered thanks to The Tyler Pope Memorial Scholarship. The team submitted essays about him and his impact. Five of them received one Wednesday night.
“I’m beyond grateful to the Pope family because they’ve been a second family to me,” said friend and scholarship recipient, J.D. Guilbault.
Tyler was also a brother to his teammates who said they will always miss him but are grateful that through his scholarship, his legacy lives on.
“I just thought it was a great thing in order to honor Tyler because he meant a lot to a lot of people around here and with his lacrosse,” Guilbalt said.
Five teammates received scholarships. Two will be awarded next year.