Local team’s win was bittersweet after death of tournament organizer

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MCGREGOR, Texas (KWTX) A Central Texas volleyball coach experienced the most emotional win in her life after her team of eighth grade girls won the tournament started years go by her sister, a popular coach and teacher who died unexpectedly in an ATV accident earlier this year.

After the game the St. Louis squad and McGregor team posed together for a photo in honor Jerry Lynch alongside the plaque presented to her sister. (Courtesy photo)

It’s the first year Jerry Lynch, a teacher at McGregor and leader of the school’s Peer Assistance and Leadership or PALs program for 17 years, wasn’t there for the fundraiser she founded for the program.

The accident took her life on April 19 in Crawford.

She was 55.

It’s also the first time her sister and best friend, Buffy Bayer who coached a team every year since the tournament started, was there without her biggest fan in the stands.

“I was crying driving to the gym and when I walked in the door,” Bayer said.

“As I walked in many of Jerry’s friends were there to meet me and give me a hug,” she said.

Bayer said as the games got underway it was emotional, but she never felt alone.

“I felt like Jerry was right there with me,” she said.

“I told someone at times I felt like Jerry was questioning what I was doing or telling me the stuff I was doing wrong,” Bayer joked as she reminisced about the educator known for her sense of humor.

Bayer’s team played that day with heart, she believes, because the girls knew how badly she wanted the trophy.

“Bad. I wanted to win it bad and my girls knew it,” she said.

St. Louis ended up facing off against McGregor in the finals, a team full of Lynch’s former students.

“Oh my gosh, it’s unbelievable, bittersweet,” Bayer said.

After the game the St. Louis squad and McGregor team posed together for a photo in honor Jerry Lynch alongside the plaque presented to her sister that she says will hang in her office as a memory of the teacher and sister who impacted countless lives, young and old.