Repaying the Unrepayable


Bridgewater Eagles Athletics

We are all moving forward together after the events of Feb. 1. Athletics is helping lead the way in how to honor the sacrifices of fallen Officers Painter and Jefferson.

Leyton Pullin, Sports Editor

Bridgewater, Va. – Tuesday, Feb. 1, will be a day that no one in the Bridgewater College family will ever forget. We all know exactly where we were at 1:15 p.m., and what we first saw or heard about the events that transpired on that day. 

For me, I was in Professor of Communication Studies Melanie Laliker’s class in Flory Hall, room 203, with my back to the window. We could hear the shots as they rang, and we all hit the deck and sat in silence for what seemed like hours. The only sound we could hear were the police scanners outside of the classroom and then, as they slowly moved away, they made us feel like maybe we were in a safer place.

The media bombardment that occurred as we left the building is something that I will not forget, and not something that I particularly enjoyed because it showed the downside of working in the media. Personally, I would not want to be in that situation having to interview someone who just went through what we did. 

The outpouring of support from people within and outside of our BC community was moving. I had family, friends, employers and even strangers reach out. It helped me so much to have people around me that were there – that way we could all try and heal and move forward together.

Officer Painter and Officer Jefferson both died protecting all of us. Every single student, staff and faculty member. 

There is no doubt in my mind that my life was spared on that day, because of the sacrifice of the officers and by the grace of God. I would not have been able to live and see my 21st birthday, the very next day, if not for their ultimate sacrifice.

It is our duty to make sure that we continue to honor Officer Painter and Officer Jefferson.

Athletics has already started to take that step with the BC Strong game that took place against Washington and Lee on Feb. 8.

Students poured into Nininger Hall for the largest crowd I have ever seen in the building. Almost all students in attendance were given BC Strong t-shirts. Both BC and Washington and Lee wore these shirts during warm-ups.

Other schools have also shown their support such as the University of Lynchburg and Mary Baldwin University. 

The Hornets had signs made and signed by their student-athletes in support of BC. The Mary Baldwin women’s tennis team displayed crimson and gold ribbons in their hair during their Feb. 21 match against the Eagles.

Each BC team is coming up with their own way to remember the sacrifices made on Feb. 1. 

Baseball, softball and men’s lacrosse are all going to display BC Strong stickers on their helmets during their upcoming season. The men’s and women’s swim teams took a thin blue line flag with them to their ODAC Meet. 

The men’s tennis team plans to do much of the same and take a thin blue line flag with them. Both the men’s and women’s teams plan to wear BC Strong shirts during warm-ups throughout the season.

Teams like field hockey and women’s lacrosse are considering designing something they could wear such as wristbands or headbands.

The biggest thing for us is to find our own ways to honor their sacrifices, and so visible reminders are important. We also need to move forward and try and get back to as close to normal as we can.