ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – “He was a fun dude,” Cave Spring senior football player Landon Altizer said.
A tragic loss rocked Cave Spring last week.
Coach Chris Askew passed away on September 26, and on Sunday the community came together to honor his memory.
“He had the determination to get us through the day,” Altizer said. “He was hard when he needed to be, but he would be right by your side.”
Athletes like Altizer remember Coach Askew’s enthusiasm for sports.
“He coached my brother for football, and he coached me for football, so I’ve known him for a long while just from my brother,” Altizer said. “He was really close with him, and he just kind of took me under his wing coming up as a freshman for football.”
Even students who did not play, like junior Cole Brunelli, witnessed his love for the team.
“All of his teammates that he coached just love him so much, and they look at him as a father figure for sure,” Brunelli said.
Askew managed to balance work and play according to students.
“He would joke with you and make the day so much better, “ Altizer said.
“He was a straight-up guy,” Brunelli said. “You could always joke around with him. He was just in good spirits all the time.”
Hundreds of friends, family, and students gathered for his memorial service.
“It’s definitely a hard time, but I think the community is coming together,” Altizer said. “It’s awesome to see them building that relationship together. You see people you don’t really know that he’s bringing together. It’s strengthening us as a school and as a community and as a football team too.”
Now, Cave Spring students are working to keep his memory alive.
“I hope they’ll just always just be able to remember him as such a wonderful coach, teacher, parent, brother,” Brunelli said. “I just hope his legacy will keep living on in this school.”