MISSOULA, Mont. - There are plans at Hellgate High School to honor a well known football player and graduating senior killed eight days ago.
18-year-old Chance Geery died in a car-pedestrian crash as he walked with his girlfriend on a Mullan Road sidewalk.
The design for the "Chance Geery Toughness Award" is still not finished. But it might remind you of the legendary Sword in the Stone story.
Chance Geery owned a medieval-style knight's helmet. He collected swords.
When the trophy shop owner showed Chance's parents a fancy sword, it all fell into place. It's kind of like the legend of the Sword in the Stone.
Chance Geery is a Hellgate Knight.
His mother Teresa Burch Geery picks up threads from the great story, and sees many connections to her son.
Like the legend, "he (Chance) had to be the strongest, to pull the sword from the stone," said his proud mother. "The chosen one."
"No matter how many men took him down during football," said Teresa, "he always got up."
Chance's football coach wants to honor what he calls the toughest guy Hellgate's seen in years. Chance will be the first recipient of the award. After that it will be that student who displays the toughness that Chance did.
"The ability to play when you're hurt and bruised a little," said Hellgate's head football coach R.L. Boyles. "Chance was great that way. He sucked it up over and over. We could count on it in the heat of competition."
Chance's dad, Todd Geery, said this will be a positive award, all positive.
"When a kid walks in that school," said Todd, "they'll say 'I'm going to have my name on that trophy one day.' They're going to try harder and strive harder," said Chance's dad.
That's something he thinks his son, the team player, would want.
Donations for the trophy expenses can be made at any Wells Fargo under the name Todd Geery in the name of Chance Geery.
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