NSSRA’s Gator athletes toasted a triumphant year with tacos and team spirit at their annual picnic on October 9. A few dozen Gator athletes arrived at Highland Park’s Sunset Woods Park on a warm Tuesday evening, ready to play a few good-natured, non-competitive games and celebrate their array of medals from tournaments and competitions so far this year.
Between basketball, bowling, softball, tennis and volleyball tournaments, and swim, track and field and powerlifting meets, plus a golf qualifer, the Gators have won a combined total of 26 bronze, 60 silver and 51 gold medals this year, and there are still a few more competitions yet to go!
The evening also gave the Gators an opportunity to remember and honor their friend and fellow former athlete, Bill Fisher, who passed away at the end of August. Bill’s parents, Don & June Fisher, and several other members of his family attended the picnic and were presented with Bill’s volleyball jersey, #27, in honor of his memory. “Bill was with us for so long, and we lost a teammate, but we know that he loved his Gators and he loved to party, so he woud have loved being here tonight to celebrate all of our successes, accomplishments and memories together,” said Katie James, NSSRA Recreation Specialist for Gator Athletics. She contined, “So, in addition to all of that, tonight we will celebrate Bill.”
The Gators crowded around the Fisher family with hugs and love, and presented them with several signed posters that they had made with pictures of Bill, and included stories and anecdotes of their memories of Bill over the years. Executive Director Craig Culp summed up the moment well, saying, “For the Gators past and for the Gators future, thank you, Bill, and thank you, Fisher family, for all that you’ve done, and just know that we are here for you forever.”