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“I bet you fly faster than you run”

March 24, 2017

Austin “ARay” Ray passed away on March 11, 2017 due to an unfortunate and untimely motorcycle accident. Role model to his younger brothers Colton and Skylar, over the years Ray made a name for himself using his natural athletic talent in high school as well as here at Monmouth College. A Mt. Zion Alumni, Ray played football and ran track. As a running back, he currently holds several rushing records at his former high school, and his number 36 jersey was even retired in 2016.

Although Ray was a natural running back, he managed to be a fantastic player on Special Teams. During his first year at Monmouth, Ray was selected as the Special Teams Player of Year continuing to exceed expectations. “As a player ARay was super-fast,” said Coach Freitag. “He was involved in our game plans all year as a jet sweep running back. He played on almost every special teams unit and that is where he contributed the most.” Likewise, on the track he made sure the name “Ray” would not be soon forgotten. In 2015 he was a part of the outdoor championship 4×100 relay team. He was a beast on the field, and track, yet never appeared to be more than a gentle soul because he was incredibly humble about his many accomplishments.

Although Ray was a gifted athlete, he also had an upbeat personality and character. “Austin was a happy go lucky person,” said Coach Freitag. “Always had a smile and was always trying to get you to smile even if you were upset with him.” For both of his teams, Ray was a source of inspiration, happiness, and kindness that anyone could depend on. Nothing ever rattled ARay as he was always determined to persevere over any adversity. Junior Darice Brooks remembers that even when Austin’s personal life would start crumbling he made sure that he would brighten the day of those around him. “No matter the situation he was always laughing or joking, even when Professor Willhardt or Coach Haynes would get on him for things that could be done better. Bottom line, if you wanted a good time then you would have Austin around to make it happen.”

Ray had a deep passion for the outdoors. Every week he would leave campus to go fishing or to take part in a hunt. Although he enjoyed his time off campus, he managed to create an atmosphere around him that was addicting to his friends and peers. Junior Madi Schulenberg feels that Austin Ray was the light in many people’s days. “He was the laugh everyone needed on a bad day and the person everyone wanted to be around on a night out on campus. He was a humble hardworking student athlete, but an even better friend.”

Riley Hess
News Editor

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