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High 5: Deer Isle-Stonington girls pay tribute to coach’s wife through patch, play

“We have him, his sister, his kid on the bench with us. So, she is here, I feel it, but it’s definitely different.”
High 5: Deer Isle-Stonington girls pay tribute to coach's wife through patch, play
High 5: Deer Isle-Stonington girls pay tribute to coach's wife through patch, play
Published: Feb. 17, 2021 at 8:20 PM EST
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DEER ISLE, Maine (WABI) - Sometimes it’s the little things that are the big things.

In this week’s NAPA Coastal Auto Parts High 5 we feature the Deer Isle-Stonington girls basketball team. They chose to remember those little things and continue to make their community proud.

Deer Isle-Stonington girls basketball head coach Randy Shepard lost his wife Sandra unexpectedly this summer.

“It’s hard without her here,” says Mariners senior Kaylee Morey, “We have him, his sister, his kid on the bench with us. So, she is here, I feel it, but it’s definitely different.”

The coach’s wife. An important piece to the Mariners success.

“She was definitely part of it,” says Mariners senior Rylee Eaton.

The girls reached the eastern Maine finals the last two years. But the energy on the court was fueled by the little things.

“We had fruit at halftime of every game,” says Eaton, “and she always used to make it for us.”

“It was a bowl of fruit like that big around and she always used to bring it,” says Morey, “Randy couldn’t do it for us. He would have brought us some gross food.”

Her daughter Morgan, who helps coach, says Sandra was always the one taking the pictures so every parent would have photos of their kids.

“Wanted to do something just to remind us of her,” says Morey, “Remind him of her, she is always going to be with us.”

They had hoped to go all the way to the Gold Ball to give the community a sense of pride.

“Senior year it’s a little rough not getting to the tournament,” says Morey, “I wanted that redemption. Get to the gold ball game and bring it back.”

But with no gold ball to play for this year, a patch, to show they have not forgotten her.

“Patch on the side of our jersey,” says Eaton, “We decided to do that to honor her.”

Orange balls rather than Gold is the prize this season.

“Wasn’t sure when all of this went down if we would ever get to play again,” says Eaton, “Very grateful to be able to be out here.”

“Take what we can get and I’m just thankful we are able to play games, we are able to practice,” says Mariners junior Luna Perry-St. Peter, “just thankful for what I have.”

The mariners have learned the little things are the big things. Like wearing that patch as much as possible this year.

“I grew up with his wife, like and his family, his daughter babysat me,” says Morey, “To play a tribute to her really means lot.”

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