The loss of a life is always a tragedy. The loss of a 17-year old with so much life to live is even more of a tragedy. In August, the Marceline community came together in grief with the passing of Zach Cupp due to a car accident. Zach was a three-sport athlete at MHS, and his number 40 jersey was retired before the Bell Game last Friday night.
“It is a very sad day for us as a family, school, and community,” said Matt and Laurie Cupp. “But at the same time, it is a great tribute to honor a fine young man. This was going to be Zach’s senior year.”
The Cupp’s continued: “He hit the weights hard and showed leadership all summer long. He was ready to get after it. Zach talked about the Bell Game all summer. Now it is the game where his jersey will be retired. It is going to be hard not to see the number 40 on the field. The next time you will see it on the field is when Max (who is seven) will be wearing it to honor his brother.”
From the piece read by Tigers announcer Mike Kelly: “Zach’s active lifestyle allowed him to touch many of us in the surrounding area as a beloved son, grandson, big brother, nephew, cousin, friend, and three-sport Tiger athlete.”
At midfield, Zach’s parents Matt and Laurie, sister Katie, and girlfriend Kelsey Gardner met R-5 Superintendent Gabe Edgar. Edgar presented Laurie Zach’s black number 40, and a similar jersey will hang in Tiger Fieldhouse in Zach’s honor.
“Laurie and I were contacted by Coach [Paul] Thomas, Coach [Kent] O’Laughlin and Mr. Edgar,” said the Cupp’s. “They told us what they were wanting to do to honor Zach. We thought that would be a great tribute to him.”
“I think the players are thrilled that they are doing this for Zach and his parents,” said Head Coach Paul Thomas. “The coaches feel the same way. The fact that Brookfield gave a lot of support to the Cupp family when this happened shows they should be part of this too.”
Zach’s father Matt also wore the number 40 as a player at MHS on the Tiger’s football team. “Words cannot express the gratefulness we have for the overwhelming prayers, support and acts of kindness that we have received and continue to receive from everyone near and far,” said the Cupps. “We are deeply moved by the community’s readiness and willingness to come together to help make a difference in Zach’s loving memory.”
Page 2 of 2 - The Cupp’s continued: “We are also extremely thankful for the Marceline High School, students and staff that have included us in any event that would be a milestone memory for Zach, and especially us. Our hearts have been sincerely touched by our communities, families and friends all coming together to honor and remember Zach.”
This was the first jersey retirement since Randy Foster’s passing in 1996. “This was the first student athlete who passed away during their high school years since Randy Foster passed away in the fall of 1996,” said Activities Director Kent O’Laughlin. “His jersey, number 51, was retired at that time. With the respect we have for Zach and continue to have for his family, we wanted to honor him for the time and effort he invested in the Marceline football program by retiring his jersey.”