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'It puts things into perspective': Ralston Rams kick off season one week after tragic shooting

The team took to the field for the first time since losing 18-year-old Tanner Farrell
Posted at 10:00 AM, Mar 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-21 07:59:18-04

RALSTON, Neb. (KMTV) — It was a game like no other for the Ralston Rams baseball team Saturday.

Players were ready to hit the field for their season opener, though this time playing ball without one of their own.

"It’s not all about wins and losses," Tom Cooper, Ralston Rams head coach. "It's about how we can come together."

Saturday's season opener was the first game for the Rams since losing player Tanner Farrell. The 18-year-old died following an accidental shooting last weekend.

"It’s been emotionally, mentally and physically exhausting," Cooper said.

Farrell's family members were on hand to see the team take to the field. Jake Farrell, Tanner’s uncle said seeing the team back in action will ultimately help his parents heal.

"It’ll help them heal to know that life does go on and that tanner left a legacy that’s going to continue." He said.

Aside from the impact, Tanner left that legacy also includes a scholarship fund. Donations were collected at the game.

Cooper has said before that there’s no game-plan for dealing with this kind of loss. He said he's had to rely on the game and each other.

"We can’t control what’s going to happen behind these fences today," He said. "But in between these fences, it’s still the same game."

Player Garrett White is the team's starting pitcher. He said he was excited to get back on the diamond to play the game they love, for Tanner.

"The best thing was to be with each other and show our support for one another," He said. "If anyone got down we picked them up and let them know we’re all here."

At the same time, Tanner’s family had relied on the memories they’ve shared with him as they continue to grieve his loss.

"We’re going to remember him as the quiet funny young kid that liked to sit down and play games and have fun with his cousins." Jake Farrell said. "I think that if we could take a legacy just enjoy life and treat people good, that would be a great way to remember Tanner."

18-year-old Blake Miller is facing a manslaughter charge following Farrell's death.

A preliminary hearing for Miller has been set for April 18.

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