EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a special guest post by Misty Schaecher, a dear friend from my high school days at Grand Island Senior High. Like nearly every kid from that era, we both worked at the Skagway store that was on the other side of the parking lot from Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church which hosted the memorial service for Sam Foltz.
Misty reached out earlier this week to see if this site could use any coverage of his service. Her out-of-the-blue offer momentarily took me aback until I realized this is just another example of how Husker fans stick together in all kinds of weather.
Her story and photos follow below.
“There is a Presence in this Place.”
As Husker Nation descended upon Grand Island for the memorial of Sam Foltz, the air of grief was palpable. An early morning thunderstorm set the stage for this morning’s service, causing flooding throughout this small Nebraska town.
The entrance to Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church was lined with flags, family, friends, fans, teammates and coaches. When you are a part of something as great as Husker Nation, you are a part of a family that is supportive and infinitely great.
Nearly 2,000 people attended the 75-minute memorial service. This included seven busloads of his University of Nebraska teammates and fellow students. Seven Priests and the Archdiocese Bishop presided over the ceremony where Sam’s life was celebrated. People overflowed the church, spilling into the hallways and reception hall where the ceremony was broadcast live.
Not since April 18, 1996, when quarterback Brook Berringer died in a tragic plane crash, have Husker fans felt such sadness. Sam Foltz was a punter, so much of the everyday hoopla of being a quarterback didn’t surround him as it did Berringer, however, his genuine kindness made him a fan favorite from the start.Sam was a true hometown hero of Grand Island. He was not only a Husker, he was also a brother, a son, a friend, and a true Islander.
As the football season fast approaches us, Husker Nation will not be the same. There will be one less dreamer on the field this year. One less determined young man reporting to practice. One less teammate offering advice to the underclassmen. One less hero representing the town of Grand Island, Nebraska on the national stage.
On July 19, 2016, Sam tweeted, “You never know who’s watching. What impact do you wanna leave on the next generation to aspire too?!”
This fan, this town, and this state will remember you Sam Foltz and we will indeed be looking up to you.