May 14, 2014
People turn to many different things to cope with loss, Cape Fear High School assistant baseball coach Larry Ellis turned to the diamond.
“It’s been good for me, I have my moments,” said Ellis. “To me baseball has been therapy.”
Before now, baseball was about bonding. Ellis is a volunteer assistant for the Cape Fear varsity team. He grabbed the job to spend time with his grandson, the shortstop Cole Humphrey.
“He started playing baseball from the time he was a little toddler and so of course Pop was there kind of doing his coaching gig. Everything we did we did together,” said Ellis.
On April 5, 2013 Larry lost his pal.
Cole Humphrey died when his SUV went off the road and hit a utility pole.
“Losing Cole, was quite a blow,” Ellis said through teary eyes. “They say time heals a lot of things. I don’t know. It’s just as real to me today as if it happened yesterday.”
And that’s why he’s at Cape Fear with Cole’s teammates, still coaching.
“Seeing the guys play and every day at practice and not seeing Cole out here, that’s kind of the bitter part of it. But the sweet part of it is that I still see him out here anytime I see this group of boys,” said Ellis.
“I play shortstop now, so I think about him all the time, between every inning and before every game,” said Cape Fear High School shortstop Dylan Horne.
“I debated on whether to come back here after Cole’s accident last year but I felt like I owed it to these boys,” said Ellis.
The man Cole knew as ‘Pop’ wanted to be there for what would have been his grandson’s senior year season, continuing to help the boys game while the game continues to help him.