- Story and photos by Al Benson
Aurora Christian School honored two fallen Eagle before the ACS-St. Ignatius football game Friday (Oct. 6) in Aurora.
Dan Beebe, ACS athletic director, led an on-field prayer service that included his reflections, a prayer and balloon launch.
Players and coaches from both teams formed a circle and held hands on the rain-swept field. Bleachers emptied as fans, game workers and volunteers joined athletes on the field.
The brief program celebrated Oswego resident Nathaniel “Nate” Kok, 16, and Tyler Hammer, 17, North Aurora. The ACS students, returning from a golf tournament, were involved in a fatal car accident near Elburn on Oct. 3.
Kok was airlifted from the accident scene to Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, where he died. Hammer was transported to Delnor Hospital in Geneva.
Beebe recalled Kok as always wearing a smile. He said Hammer has undergone several surgeries with more planned.
After a prayer by Beebe, a balloon-launch closed the ceremony.
ACS released a statement on Facebook saying, “Words cannot express how heavy our hearts are to lose one of our own. Nate Kok was a great student, committed athlete, and faithful friend who was a positive example to everyone around him.
“While we are grieving deeply with the Kok family and as a community, we also have peace and hope knowing that Nate is now with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We’re also praying for Tyler, the Hammer family, and his medical team as he begins the healing process.
“We would like to thank the many people who have reached out including students, parents, law enforcement, and neighboring schools.”
The accident is under investigation by the Kane County Sheriff’s Office and Kane County Accident Reconstruction Team.
- Feature Photo Caption: Aurora Christian School and St. Ignatius football players share a prayer service Friday for Oswego resident Nathaniel “Nate” Kok, 16, and Tyler Hammer, 17, North Aurora. The ACS students, returning from a golf tournament, were involved in a fatal car accident near Elburn on Oct. 3. (Al Benson photo)