Hoosac Valley Graduate Rumbolt Remembered
|The Hoosac Valley community is mourning the loss of 18-year-old Tori Rumbolt. The outstanding three-letter athlete was found dead early Thursday morning.|
ADAMS, Mass. — The Hoosac Valley High School softball team, family and friends remembered their former teammate on Friday with a ceremony at Russell Field.
The 1 p.m. ceremony was initially supposed to precede a softball game, but the game itself was rescheduled. Still, players from Hoosac and other area schools, schoolmates, friends and family turned out to pay their respects to Tori Rumbolt.
The body of Rumbolt, 18, of Cheshire, was found in a wooded area near Oak Turn, off upper East Hoosac Street in Adams, early Thursday morning after she went missing the day before. State police helicopters and a search dog had been used in attempt to locate her.
During Friday's ceremony, the scoreboard flashed "7" across the score and inning columns in honor of Rumbolt's number when she played softball. Her teammates released balloons in which they had written personal messages for Rumbolt and her parents spoke briefly about the need for everyone to support each other moving forward.
Softball coach Morgan Shafer, who also spoke Friday, said her team kept its regular practice time on Thursday, but the focus was not on pitching and hitting.
"We just sat and talked about what we remembered about Tori," Shafer said Thursday evening. "And we thought about different ways we could honor her throughout the season and especially at our home game tomorrow."
Rumbolt, who graduated last year from Hoosac Valley, was a three-sport athlete, playing soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter and softball in the spring. Many of the girls on this spring's Hoosac softball team were her teammate on multiple teams a year ago.
Word of her disappearance spread Wednesday night through social media, Shafer said. Early Thursday morning, she received a call from one of her players who learned that Rumbolt's body had been found.
"Tori was just a bright individual who was always bubbly and energetic and just full of happiness," Shafer said. "She was a great athlete but also just a great person and a great teammate. She was always there for the girls and me and the entire team."
"She was a great athlete, but I'd really emphasize what a great person she was," Shafer said. "Everyone remembers her big personality. But she was a phenomenal athlete on top of it — three sports, a leader in all of them.
"I just always thought she was outstanding from the moment I met her."
Tags: high school sports, HVHS, remembrance,