A sophomore at Annville-Cleona High School, Danika Setlock wears the No. 10 on her box hockey jersey like a badge of honor.
It’s no longer such a lot to assist her take note her brother, Eli – that’s no longer one thing she’s merely succesful of forgetting – however her method of honoring his memory.
But otherwise, dressed in the similar quantity that Eli wore as a member of the Annville-Cleona boys’ football program is helping Setlock make some type of sense of his dying.
Setlock used to be 10 years previous on Dec. 5, 2017 when Eli used to be troubled with a critical bronchial asthma assault that killed him. Following an energetic athletic occupation in football, baseball and golfing at Annville-Cleona, Eli Setlock used to be in his freshman yr at California University of Pennsylvania.
“I wear his number because I want to represent him,” Danika stated. “I miss him a lot. There is probably not a second that goes by in the day that I don’t think about him, that I don’t miss him. I remember what it was like when he was here, and it usually happens when I’m playing field hockey or softball.”
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In many ways, Danika, who additionally dons Eli’s baseball quantity all the way through softball season within the spring, used to be too younger to straight away comprehend all of the breadth of the tragedy.
“My alarm had gone off in the morning, just like it does every morning,” Danika stated. “My oldest brother, Caleb, was waiting for me outside of my room, and he told me we had to rush to the hospital. When we got to the hospital, they took Caleb and I into a room and told us that Eli wasn’t going to wake up. They say at that point there was nothing they could do, and we said our goodbyes.
“I would say that at some point, it put my mind directly on sports. I’d try to put it out of my mind and focus on my sports.”
With 5 targets and 5 assists, Setlock is a key contributor to an Annville-Cleona box hockey squad that’s these days 13-3 total and combating for a Lancaster-Lebanon Section 4 championship, in addition to a berth within the upcoming District 3 Class A playoffs.
Extending the season would merely supply Setlock and the Little Dutchmen a chance to additional honor Eli’s memory.
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“We were eight years apart, so I knew him from a little sister’s perspective,” Danika stated. “To me, he was my hero. He was my agitator. But he was always there for me. I just looked up to him. He was my rock.”
“I think it’s awesome that Danika continues Eli’s legacy by wearing his number,” stated Annville-Cleona head trainer Carrie Gingrich. “It helps her to never forget him and the amazing athlete he was at Annville-Cleona. But it also helps the community to never forget him. When Eli passed away, it hit our small community so hard because he was such a great person and athlete. Being the small community that we are, everyone knew Eli and the Setlock family.”
No topic the place she is going or what she accomplishes, Danika will all the time lift her brother’s memory along with her.
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“Over the past few years, I feel like I’ve drawn strength from Eli’s passing,” she stated. “I know I have to continue on, even though he’s not here. I honestly feel like I’ve done the best I could. I understand more about life and that there are bigger things out there.
“It reminds me that I’m not always going to be OK. But one of the things I’ve learned is that you should always be kind to people, because you don’t know what they’re going through.”