GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (CBS4) – Winning a championship would be great, but the lacrosse players on Team Jack Strong are more focused on making a change. They’re all friends of Jack Padilla, a Cherry Creek High School student who took his own life earlier this year.
“This group of kids are all kids that he knew from different teams, not just one high school. They knew his personality, he was one of those fiery kids,” said the team’s coach, Jeff Rosendahl.
Jack Padilla was only 15 years old when he took his life in February. His family told CBS4 he was bullied and even encouraged to commit suicide. After his passing, his friends knew they had to do something.
They launched a social media campaign called Jack Strong, and also organized a school walkout at Cherry Creek High School to raise awareness about bullying and mental health. The lacrosse team was formed to keep that message going.
“We did it to spread his message not only to other people we’re playing against, but with each other,” Nick Corsi told CBS4’s Dominic Garcia.
The team was undefeated heading into their final game Monday afternoon. The match didn’t end up going their way, but Jack’s grandmother, Maggie Crissy, said their support has meant the world.
“We have so much support from so many people, it’s just overwhelming. Those kids have gone far and beyond supporting Jack.”
If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, the Lifeline network is available 24/7 across the United States. Your call is confidential and free.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals
Mobile Crisis Services, Denver Health
24/7 service that provides mental health support to residents of the city and county of Denver and to Mental Health Center of Denver consumers during and after a crisis