This past Friday night the Pueblo West High School football team won another game.
But sadly, the Pueblo West community lost a very special teacher, mother and friend.
The shocking news began to spread through the stadium just before half-time of the Cyclones home game against Cheyenne Mountain.
Lizzy Marino, the beloved School District 70 teacher, had lost her battle with cancer.
The game went on, but the news affected everyone.
Tears and hugs were shared both on and off the field by her former students and parents, her colleagues and her friends.
I am very sorry to say that he did not have the opportunity to get to know Lizzy well.
But we had an opportunity to visit at the start of this year’s high school sports season.
Since Lizzy was such a gifted photographer, I asked if she wanted to help me with some freelance photography for The View.
True to form, Lizzy was very humbled and grateful to be asked. And as a “super-fan” of Pueblo West sports at all levels, she wanted so badly to say yes.
Ultimately though, she graciously declined the offer because she wanted to spend more time cheering on her kids and their friends at baseball and football fields across Colorado.
Lizzy’s closest friends tell me that this decision certainly exemplified her character.
Lizzy cherished her children, and each and every one of her students at Desert Sage Elementary.
She loved all sports that her kids were playing—and she loved the Boston Red Sox. Lizzy was the mom that was at every game, and the mom who would explain the game to all the moms, dads and grandparents who sat by her in the stands.
News of Lizzy’s passing had reached the Cyclones locker room at halftime.
The players — some of them former students of Marino’s — took the field with heavy hearts.
Their coaches, parents and fellow students in the stands helped them band together, and finish the game with courage and resolve.
There was no celebration after the Cyclones 40-9 victory.
There was only a quiet team prayer at mid-field.
As the players finished their prayer, and began to find their parents and friends in the stands, there were more hugs and tears.
And as I was walking off the field, one of the Cyclones players tapped me on my shoulder.
With tears streaming down his face he said, “Please tell them that this one was for Ms. Marino.”
© Copyright 2015 The Pueblo Chieftain & Star Journal Publishing Corp. All rights reserved.