, Salem, MA

Local News

October 26, 2013

Two teams, one goal: Remember Colleen Ritzer

ANDOVER — Two dozen pink balloons swayed in the cool evening air, held aloft by the members of two different teams from two different towns who stood as one around the circle in the middle of the field.

As the members of the Danvers and Andover varsity field hockey teams stood silently under the lights of Lovely Field last night, Danvers’ first-year head coach Jill McGinnity read a moving tribute to Colleen Ritzer, the Andover woman who was murdered Tuesday at Danvers High School, allegedly by one of her students.

“Hello, everybody,” she said over the loudspeaker, taking the microphone in the press box from longtime Andover High School sports announcer Bill Drummond. “I’m going to try to do this without getting too emotional.”

Her voice cracked as she spoke about Ritzer, who taught many of the girls on the Danvers field hockey team. Ritzer’s brother, Dan, and sister, Laura, a senior at Andover High School, stood in the stands and watched as the event unfolded.

“This is a perfect setting to remember a sister, a daughter, a teacher and a friend,” McGinnity said. “Colleen had a huge and positive effect on everyone. Let’s pay her memory forward and live by her words: ‘Be kind, smile and find the good in every day.’”

Her words brought tears to most of the 100 or so people in the stands and on the field.

“Let’s have a moment of silence as the players release the balloons in honor of a beautiful person,” she said. After a few moments, she said, “Here’s to you, Miss Ritzer. You may release the balloons.”

They rose into the night sky, trailing their strings behind them, as if in slow motion. Everyone stood quietly and watched as they disappeared into the darkness.

Drummond, who taught math to Ritzer while she was a student at Andover High School, took the microphone next.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways
Comments Tracker