Remembering one of our own
By By Steve Swogetinsky/The Meridian Star
April 8, 2001
There were plenty of tears shed Saturday during the funeral service for Brian Cole, held before a large gathering at the Meridian High School gym.
But rather than mourn his death, friends and loved ones were urged to celebrate his life.
Cole, a standout athlete during his time at Meridian High School, had just completed spring training with the New York Mets when he died last Saturday. He was killed in an automobile accident near Jacksonville, Fla., while driving back to Meridian.
Johnson announced that Cole's number will be retired at Navarro Junior College, and a foundation has been established in his name.
Cole wasn't large in size, but was without a doubt an impact player. His high school coach, Bill McFarland, remembered how his size fooled some people.
McFarland said he taught Brian and his brothers, and was very impressed with all of them. He attributed that to their parents, William and Maudelene Cole.
Putting it in baseball terms, Heath Autrey, Cole's hitting coach at Navarro, suggested that God needed a new center fielder on Heaven's team.
Steve Swogetinsky is regional editor of The Meridian Star. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.