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Cole Ballay, a junior
soccer star at Germantown Academy, passed on Feb. 19,
2008, of injuries suffered in an auto accident not far from the school.
Cole was already a three-year starter, as well as a captain and All-Inter-Ac honoree.
GA parent Bob Cannon said of Cole, "I know I speak for all of the GA family
when I tell you that our heart has been split in two with the news of this young man's
passing . . . He was, and will continue to be, a shining example of everything good
about GA, about being 17 years old and playing and enjoying this great game of
soccer. Three cheers for a wonderful kid, son and GA student-athlete. A great one
We welcome your comments about Cole, and they'll be posted below.
Please e-mail them to email@example.com.
Also, we will gladly post pictures. Those may be sent to the same e-mail
Thank you very much.
Also please visit a site, www.coleballay.com, created by Cole's uncle, Jim Jacoby.
Contributions . . .
I knew Cole since about 3rd grade. We
went to elementary school together and I can still see him
running around the soccer field at recess. Then I came to GA in
6th grade and at the end of my 3rd year there, a visitor walks
in with green Chuck Taylor's and long hair. I was excited to see
Cole at GA, a kid who I had known since we were little was going
to be joining me in high school, graduating 2009. I'm sorry we
can't spend senior year together bro. I'm sorry I didn't get to
know you better once you came to GA, but the times when we hung
out were real. Cole brought life to every party, every class,
every person he was around. He could make people laugh so
easily. One thing I admired about Cole was that he wasn't afraid
to say something. He wasn't afraid to stand up for himself. He
could pick fights standing at 5'6''. On the soccer field, it was
like nobody could touch him. I always said he would make a great
D-back on the football field, but soccer was his passion, and
there is no doubt that he excelled at it. I'm shocked that
something this horrible could happen to such a great kid with so
much potential. 17 years is not enough, not even close. But in
those 17 years Cole lived more than any of us. My thoughts and
prayers go out to Cole's family and close friends. We've lost an
awesome young man, but I guarantee he is living it up in Heaven.
Stay strong everyone.
-- Pete Haines, GA '09
Here are two essays Cole wrote; one for a class at GA and one prior to admission . . .
The First Morning of The Rest of My Life
The Earth and all of its wonders surround the human race in a surreal land of marvel and wonder. One of the most emotionally captivating, and majestic sensations man can have is the smell, sound, and sight experienced on the first day of summer. Many times in this overbearing modern world, priorities are shuffled and senses are desensitized due to the lack of time to taken to appreciate nature. The single most tantalizing and rejuvenating experience my senses have encountered came on the first morning of the summer going into my first year of high school. The emotional frenzy which occurred on that summer morning gave me an eye opening experience that presented a new outlook on life and the world around me thus making me the optimistic person I am today.
My eyelids felt glued shut. Sleep was the only thing on my mind. My trance of inner peace was soon broken however. Like water expels from a dam, my nostrils flooded with an odor, which corralled itself into my nasal passage. The origin of the smell became more evident to me, a partially propped open window to the left of my disheveled bed. Trying hard not to open my eyes, I sniffed, snuffled, and snarled until my nose was able to diagnose the eclectic summer breeze. The honeysuckle plant released a sweet and light odor, while the freshly cut grass spread a pungent, yet tangy, and fresh scent. Sludge and gasoline poured from the cars clanking by on Route 313, and lifted into the diffusing air of my bedroom. The smell was pungent, and lingered in my nasal cavity, on the tip of my pallet.
My ears buzzed with the sound of a million different sources, each with a different pitch and tone. The birds sang in perfect rhythm and meter, small lungs struggling to make their songs heard. The crickets’ internal instruments echoed a sweet chirping as their tunes resonated through my propped open window. The man-made noises intruded on natures’ natural symphony. The cars sputtered along the road in each way, their engines churning out roaring acceleration, tightly wound gear shifts, and squealing horns. The distant, distinct rustle of lawn mowers vibrated the sound waves in a rough series of notes, while the clamor of men’s laughter and the playful giggling of children smoothed and sped the beat. All of the magnificence and musical masterpiece of the outside world filtered through the one partially open window of my room, and straight into my ears. Inside my room the breeze whistled, the ruffled sheets were lightly draped over my body, and the springs of my bed creaked and moaned on the wooden frame.
As my senses became more engulfed by nature, my body became awakened, and I rose from my fleeting slumber. Driven to the opening in my window by smell and sound, I looked to the right, and there at eye level was a portal into a new world. Standing up with as much vigor as a bull, I rushed to the opening. My head slid into the propped open space, and a scene was painted before my eyes that I will never forget. The grass seemed greener than ever before. The evergreen trees looked stronger than oxen, and their pine needles were crisp and firm. The garden was flowing with life. The textured plants were as smooth as babies’ bottoms, and the vivid flowers were in blues, reds, yellows, and oranges. The sky was a soft blue, with no clouds in sight. The scene was so clear that Heaven was almost visible. Kneeling there in shock and awe, I came to realize that this was a milestone day for me. My journey into adulthood had begun.
The world was no longer a black and white picture, but a vibrant and creative photograph. The emotional pandemonium which occurred on that summer morning gave me an eye opening experience that presented a new outlook on life and the world around me; thus making me the optimistic person I am today. I came to the realization that although life seems short and our lives at times seem insignificant, taking time to appreciate the world and all of its natural wonders makes you realize how big the earth is, and how many opportunities for greatness will arise throughout the course of life. If not for the smells, sounds, and sights on that morning, I may not have reflected on my life and realized the importance of optimism. A greater understanding of life’s’ deeper events is only fully acquired by taking time out and appreciating life’s smaller events. Carpe Diem!!!
----FALL 2004, Application for Germantown Academy, age 13
Cole T. Ballay
A Glimpse into My Passion
“Soccer player”, is how people usually label me. However, I am more than a generalized label. I am a young man who is intensely devoted and obsessed with the “beautiful game”. I can remember even as a very young child the sensations of running with the ball at my feet and the breeze whipping by my hair and ears. I am older now and those exhilarating memories will hopefully remain with me forever. With many soccer related experiences to come, I will always be mindful of these earliest impressions, and regardless of where soccer takes me in the future, they will forever remain fresh sources of inspiration.
For me soccer is more than a hobby or past time. It is an anti-drug; a way of making new friends; a way of expanding my views and aspects of life, and most importantly, it is the core of my being. When I think about something that I feel passionate about, one word comes to mind, soccer.
As I advance in youth soccer, I appreciate the opportunities that I have had in the past and those future ones, which I must seek and earn. Being chosen for the Region 1, O.D.P. team, the Regional Champions, the Delco Hammerheads, and the Super Y National Camp have widened my horizons. While participating in the regional tournaments and camps, my eyes have been opened to other walks of like, other peoples, their differences from and similarities to me. These events made me realize that others are just as willing to do whatever it takes to be successful. I must continue to work hard and take advantage of opportunities that come my way to achieve my goals.
However, I must also remind myself that soccer is more than diligence. It is a sport, which I have always enjoyed. Like all games, it involves skill and strategy. This is what makes a game fun. At present, it still is. When I am out on the field, it is as though everything else drifts away. Anger, confusion, frustration, worry and all outside distractions become insignificant. The exhilarating feelings of my youth resurface from memory to present reality.
How could one game consisting of a ball, 22 players, and a net, mean so much to me? I have no answer to this question, but whatever, it is, I will continue to do it until the end of my days. I am Cole Ballay, a young man, and I love soccer!