It has been exactly three months today since the passing of the beloved Wheaton softball assistant coach Bob Roscoe, also known as Brotha.
I sat down with senior softball players Kelly Welch ’16 and Maddie Hatch ’16 to talk about Brotha and how the team has been holding up these last three months.
“This would have been Brotha’s 21st year at Wheaton. He went 20 years with the Wheaton Softball Program. That’s older than some of our juniors,” Kelly commented.
Both Kelly and Maddie spoke of how Brotha acted as a great buffer to keep things loose and reset the team when tensions and stress ran high.
“If you were having a bad day,” Maddie explained, “he would say ‘Hey, you’re fine. Don’t even worry about it. You’ll get the next one. You’ll be ready for NEWMACs.”
The team’s first day of practice proved to be difficult, not only for the returning players, but also for their head coach, Rachel Powers, because it was the first time they were on the field without Brotha.
During this practice, the team went around in a circle and each talked about one memory that they cherish of Brotha and one thing they are going to bring back for the new season. “I think one of the most important things,” Maddie said, “was as we were talking about this, the sun came out and it was super cloudy and we were like this is absolutely him. He’s still here with us all the time, no matter what.”
Kelly added that “it was obvious from the team discussion that he had such a personal touch with everyone. Everyone was able to say something so personal.” She continued to say that she and Brotha shared a common love for hockey and they often debated between whether the Bruins or the Blackhawks were the better team. She smiled and laughed as she recalled that, “He wrote me a note one time and he signed it ‘Hawks still suck.’”
It was the little things, such as this, that made Brotha so great. He had a special and personal connection with every player on the team that made them feel welcomed and important.
For the first-year players this season, Kelly and Maddie commented that they don’t have the separate and personal aspect to the effect that Brotha had on the team.
“This makes us, as teammates, so much more important,” Kelly explains, “because there isn’t that extra personal feel on this team that Brotha gave Wheaton for twenty years.” The returners on the team understand how important it is to keep the memory and spirit of Brotha alive for years and years to come. His memory will live on, no matter how many years and players cycle through Wheaton.
Three months later, their memory and love for Brotha is stronger than ever. “We always reference him and he will always be here,” Maddie stated. Both seniors acknowledged how strong-willed and driven their team is. Without Brotha this year, their desire to win and go all the way in NEWMACs is dedicated to him.