MIDLOTHIAN, Va. (WWBT) - Several players may emerge during the span of a football coach’s career that help define his program.
For Cosby head coach Pete Mutascio, Alex Hable was one of those kids.
“Alex was the type of kid that every coach wants on their team,” Mutascio said. “Put the team first, put his family, his friends, and his teammates first. did anything he could to be helpful.”
Hable was a 2012 graduate of Cosby and played football and lacrosse. He went onto play college lacrosse at Virginia Tech, but passed away in the summer of 2014 in an accident on Lake Gaston. Even though it’s been more than five years since his death, his memory is very present around the Titans’ program. His locker still sits in the field house, unoccupied, and his old number, 4, is visible on many of the Titans of today. Each player has a shirt with the numeral on it, as well as decals on their helmets.
“Players can be bigger than the game itself,” said Mutascio. “They can reach out to the community, they can show each other the best ways to be a friend, be a teammate, how to just be there for each other.”
Number 4 sits open on Cosby’s roster as well. Instead, that jersey is awarded to a different player each week, worn as a badge of honor, a tradition that’s been going on since Hable’s passing.
“We decided to recognize someone who we felt exemplified a good teammate, a good friend, everything we felt Alex exemplified,” the head coach added.
Ethan West is the latest player to earn the number 4 jersey.
“It really exemplifies all the characteristics and to be able to get that, it really means a lot as a player,” he remarked.
Like many others who have donned that jersey since 2014, West put on one of his best showings, posting a touchdown and two interceptions in a win over Huguenot last Friday night. Coincidence? Maybe, or maybe not.
“I’m a firm believer in that stuff,” West said. “I think we’ve got a little angel over our shoulder every single time we play with it.”
I’m very superstitious," adds Mutascio. “I believe that those kids- they usually come through for us in a big way, those guys who are wearing that number that night.”
Mutascio says he’ll continue the tributes to Hable as long as he’s the head coach, knowing that remembering a Titan of the past can help shape those of the future.
“Whenever anybody sees us who knew Alex, they know that we’re keeping him in our hearts and that we’re trying to do everything we can to keep his memory alive.”
Cosby goes for its third straight win on Friday when it hosts George Wythe at 7:00pm. Senior Keylin Jackson will wear the number 4.
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