Legacy enshrined

Story behind number seven

Hunter Kreske, guest columnist

Ever since I was young, I have been an avid football fan. I grew up in a football family rooting for the Green Bay Packers and watched Aaron Rodgers dominate in the National Football League. I have always idolized Rodgers and have worn his number, 12, for all the sports I played growing up. I wore that number through my sophomore year, but this year for the first time in my life, I decided to change it. 

Towards the end of my sophomore season, my brother’s long-time baseball teammate and lifelong friend, Dylan Buckner, took his own life. This loss affected my family more than I could have ever imagined. 

Dylan wore number seven during his time as North’s quarterback. My brother, now in college playing baseball, expressed his desire to wear number seven for his upcoming baseball season because he wanted to honor his friend by carrying on his legacy. Around the same time my brother changed his number, Dylan’s family started the DylanBuckner7 foundation to honor him. I wanted to show support for my brother because Dylan was his close friend and also use his number to remind myself of who I play for. 

Furthermore, when we were asked what number we would want for the upcoming football season, I was inspired by my brother to also dedicate my number to him as well.  I was sure what number I wanted. Number seven was what I thought of because it represents Dylan’s legacy and so much more. Everytime I stepped onto the football field, I knew that I was playing for him. Every home game I kneeled on the sideline by the 50 yard line before kickoff and prayed. I was not only praying to God for myself, but for him to watch over me as I played. 

By wearing Dylan’s number, it was my way to honor and bring awareness to men’s mental health. Many people suffer in silence and the people close to them are left to pick up the pieces. By wearing Dylan’s number it represented my support for Dylan’s younger brother Ethan, the strongest kid I know because everyday becomes a battle when you lose someone you love.