More Than a Family
Coleman was the son of Travis and DeeAnna Midgett and
brother to three sisters; Megan, Keyleigh, and Addie. Coleman was the second
oldest. As his sisters gravitated towards softball Coleman very early on
gravitated towards running.
"Coleman fell in love with running way back in 3rd grade when one of his teachers started a running club at school and they trained to run in the Rudolph Red Nose Run before the Nashville Christmas Parade in early December and the Purity and ING runs in the spring. He loved it and just couldn't get enough of it. From that point on, he continued to run 5Ks and participated in several Triathlons before joining the TW Hunter XC team in the 8th grade. Once he got into XC, he was hooked," his parents said.
As most parents know though, when your child becomes invested in a sport you too become invested in it as well. I asked Travis and DeeAnna how Cross County differed from their experiences with "traditional team sports."
"In a lot of the other team sports, kids are in competition for positions or playing time and a lot of parents have a "my kids better than that kid" attitude which creates tension and animosity where in XC, your kid is only as good as they run on any particular day. Everyone participates. There's no sitting the bench because you're not at the same level as another player. Everyone runs no matter what level or time you are running at. Your biggest competition is yourself and you are always striving to beat your previous time. It's on them and no one else can be blamed for holding a kid back because they are running against themselves. Our experience was that our fellow XC parents not only cheer for their own kids, but also their child's teammates, and even kids from other teams. This creates an atmosphere that goes way beyond team, it's a family type atmosphere."
And that family atmosphere was never more apparent than when the Midgett's lost Coleman.
"Our immediate XC family, Beech & TW Hunter, was there through it all. They walked with us through this tragedy, have gone above and beyond to support us and lift us up, to let us know that our son was and is loved and that he is missed, and that though he is gone, we are still a part of the XC family. That family atmosphere extended beyond Beech and TW Hunter as we had so many other schools and XC Teams that honored Coleman by wearing orange and blue, decorating their schools in orange and blue, reaching out to us with words of encouragement, honoring Coleman by writing 6.24.16, runforColeman, or Colemanslegacy on their arms on race day. We have been overwhelmed by the love and encouragement that has been shown to us from the XC community, our XC Family."
Travis and DeeAnna talked more about the support they at the meet itself in the video below:
The Midgett's would like to add special thanks to Josh Jones
and Ashley Jones of HYPE (Helping Young People Excel) for reaching out to
Auburn on Coleman's behalf.