Lady Cougars remember

Published 6:00 am Monday, February 24, 2003

Russ Michael Mangold has a special place in the hearts ofBrookhaven Academy’s Lady Cougars. The young student was killed ina tragic home accident Sept. 21, 2002, but his memory remainsstrong, especially in Brookhaven Academy’s John R. GrayGymnasium.

The Mangold family has donated state championship banners inmemory of Vance and Michelle Mangold’s 6-year-old son. The bannershang from the rafters on the west end of the gymnasium.

The initials, RMM, are worn on the team’s warmup jerseys. Aspecial presentation was made to the Mangold family thisseason.

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“The Mangold family has really been an inspiration to us,” saidBrookhaven Academy senior center Anna Gatlin. “We wanted to playhard this season in memory of Russ Michael.”

Russ Michael’s mother, Michelle, was a member of the BrookhavenAcademy 1983 Overall State Tournament championship team. She hasclosely followed the Lady Cougars, especially this season.

“We appreciate Vince and Michelle Mangold very much,” saidBrookhaven Academy girls coach Barry Gray. “They have reallysupported our program.

“I would imagine that our little man (Russ Michael) is sittingbeside Jesus and he has a smile on his face.”

Gatlin said the Lady Cougars were a close team and they arespirit-led. “Our motto all year has been. ‘If any glory comes ourway, we want to give it back to God.'”

Gray said Romans 10:13 has been an inspiration to himand his team this season. “Call on the name of the Lord.”

After the hard-fought championship game, Brookhaven Academy andLeake Academy team members gathered at center court and knelt for amoment of prayer. The loud celebration by the fans in the standsgrew silent for moment.