AXTELL, Texas (KWTX) It was a day of mourning but also of remembering in Axtell on Saturday (5/9) as students, faculty and friends gathered to celebrate the life of head baseball coach Cameron Bankston who tragically died Thursday night in a single vehicle crash in Huckaby. He was 32.
“Ever since the day I met him, he was just so outgoing,” said Koby Hollingsworth, a junior baseball and football player. “You know I walked into our Pee Wee football camp and he ran up to me and said ‘how are you? You’re the quarterback right?’ It was like we were best friends right off the get go.”
Students arranged a memorial at the Axtell baseball field. They told stories of the young coach’s outgoing personality and how much he cared for his players and students.
“He is really going to be missed,” said Axtell Athletic Director Rusty Reynolds. “His energy. He had a lot of energy, enthusiasm, excitement. He had a nickname for every kid. Some of them were really funny nicknames. Kids really respond to those kinds of things.”
“We’re playing against Cross Roads and their fullback had the ball and I ran up and stripped it from him,” said Hollingsworth. “I was running about 60 yards down the field and I look over and he’s running right by my side waving me on. That’s my favorite memory to think about. How passionate he was about us playing.”
Bankston was only a coach at Axtell for a year and his first season as the head baseball coach for the longhorns was cut short when schools were closed. Still, in his short time, he made an impact.
“Celebrate the little things,” said Hollingsworth. “We had a hard time with that at the beginning of the season and we struggled with just being excited for the small things. A stolen base of a bunt. Anything like that. He taught us how to celebrate the small things. And that’s why we got rolling really. We could run off of one small thing. We could avoid the bad things by celebrating the little things. He always said when you celebrate the good things, the big things will celebrate themselves.”
The visitation for Cameron Bankston in scheduled for Thursday May 28th from 6 to 8 at NorthPoint First Baptist church in Burleson. His funeral is the following day.