Webber Will Never Forget . . . Saxton Dunlap Wears #2 in Heaven
Sometimes a story leaves my memory for a while and is re-triggered by accident. I was looking through the Webber Men’s roster while doing my prep work for yesterday’s article posts and noted that Saxton Dunlap’s #2 Bio was still on the website.
Saxton passed away from cancer before being able to play a college game, and the school decided to keep his memory alive with the honor of keeping him on the roster. RIP Saxton and I hope to never have a lapse in memory again about you.
Here’s what his biography shows: LINK
In remembrance of Saxton Dunlap, who was scheduled to attend Webber International University following an outstanding high school career at Riverview High School in Sarasota, Florida, Webber has retired the No. 2 jersey in the men’s lacrosse program.
Saxton was one of the first student-athletes to ever commit to play lacrosse at Webber. Saxton was recruited for his infectious personality, commitment to the game of lacrosse and pure speed. When Saxton turned on the jets, he was gone. Upon Saxton sharing the news of his illness with his future college coach Chris Burdick, Saxton vowed to get well and to represent Webber on the field in his No. 2 uniform.
Coach Burdick made a promise to Saxton that “nobody will wear that jersey until you do Saxton.” In keeping with that promise, the No. 2 jersey will never be worn by a lacrosse player at Webber.
Remembrance of Saxton
Saxton Lee Dunlap, 18, of Sarasota, FL, was born June 12, 2002, received his angel wings comforted by his family on November 8, 2020. Saxton was born in Columbus, Ohio. He went to High School at Riverview and graduated in 2020. Saxton is survived by his parents, Kristy Dunlap and Alan Abernathy of Sarasota, FL.; grandparents, Ken and Joyce Hibbitt; Grandma Cat; sister, Ciara Yancy and her son, Anthony; uncles, Ken II Hibbitt and daughters, Chelsea and Alyssa, Bill (Jamie) Hibbitt and Ava, Oliver. John and Lee (Chandler and Chase) Abernathy, and will be greatly missed by many uncles, aunts, cousins, friends, and lacrosse family. He is preceded in death by his grandfather, Billy Lee Dunlap.
Inspiration: Where does one start when summarizing the life of a soul so young and so fierce. From his abundance of freckles and infectious smile, Saxton’s quirky, playful, and bigger than life personality (as well as his wild and crazy hair) drew a crowd wherever he went. He lived a life of passion, always coupled with kindness, and paired with fun. As well-mannered as he was known to be, he was well versed in mischievousness and always knew how to push the limits. Ask his mom, Kristy. Kristy was the roots of the tree, always pushing him to be his best self and not to tolerate any less than the best. She and Alan were sure to be present at every practice, every game, and always showed up when he needed them most.
Because of this unwavering support, Saxton developed into a fierce competitor both on and off the field. This was never more evident than when he received a devastating cancer diagnosis in May of 2020. It was now that Saxton needed the support of his “team” to carry him, where he once carried them. Saxton fought a valiant six-month war against unfair odds and uphill battles, as a true warrior. Those who fought beside him described nothing other than his bravery up until the very the end, and his journey started and ended on HIS terms. He left this earth and gained angel wings peacefully and without pain, as we all would have wanted.
He was a force to be reckoned with and this world will never quite be the same without him. We will forever love and remember our strong, determined, and courageous Saxton. We will be comforted knowing that Saxton is watching over us, eternally reminding us to live with his same determination and dignity. A service for friends and family will be held on Saturday, November 14 from 2-6pm at Bayside Community Church, 8200 Bee Ridge Rd., Sarasota, FL 34241. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to Webber International University at https://bit.ly/32DM8CC to support the Lacrosse Program.
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