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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Kinesiology class connects with softball team rocked by fatal crash

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Heran Guan — THE BATTALION A kinesiology class made care packages that included T-shirts, teddy bears and Whataburger gift cards.

Aggies are reaching out to a college softball team in the wake of a devastating September accident.
On Sept. 26, an 18-wheeler crossed a median and crashed into the North Central Texas College softball team’s van, resulting in four deaths, as the team traveled back from a scrimmage against Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma.
Thirty students in a kinesiology activity class banded together to send the 16 NCTC softball players gifts of A&M T-shirts, teddy bears, Whataburger gift cards, candy and cards.
Before transferring to A&M, Nicki Owen, kinesiology junior, played softball for Angelina College and Kilgore College, in the same conference as NCTC.
Owen played softball with Megan Durante, one of the NCTC softball players, and asked her fitness class at A&M to show support for the team through care packages.
“I actually played with Megan, and she’s one of the freshman at NCTC,” Owen said. “She was my catcher and I was the pitcher. She is one of the survivors from the accident. I actually did not know the four girls that passed away personally — I just knew of them.”
Owen said she wanted to help any way she could.
“The NCTC players are going through a very difficult time and I just wanted to do something that would make them smile,” Owen said. “They deserve it.”
Madi Medley, kinesiology freshman, said the purpose is to let the team know that students at A&M care about what they are going through.
“I hope they know that it’s not just a tragedy that everyone is going to forget,” Medley said. “Being an athlete in high school, I know how important team members are to you.”
Owen said she was shocked when she heard the news of the NCTC loss. She was leaving Harry’s the Friday night of the crash when one of her Kilgore teammates called her.
“I was walking back to my apartment and I literally bent over because I thought I was going to throw up,” Owen said. “And I called my mom. It was just too close to home. I can’t even imagine if it was one of my teammates. Whenever you form a team, they’re your sisters. It is your family for a year.”
Owen said the kinesiology class understands the bonds created among teammates and felt the class could encourage the softball team.
“We’re all [kinesiology majors,] so we’re all sports related, most all of us,” Owen said. “We have a volleyball player, a girl on the dance team, we have a baseball player. They can all relate because they’re on teams.”
Instructional Professor Kirstin Brekken Shea, or “KB,” as her students call her, is shipping all of the care packages to the NCTC players.
When Owen approached Shea about sending the care packages, Shea said Owen could propose the idea to the class, and while no one was required to participate, the entire class wanted to contribute.
“I’m really proud of them,” Shea said. “I think it’s a nice thing to do. They didn’t spend a whole lot of money and I think it’s just more for thought and wanting to support these students while they’re hurting.”

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