On Friday morning, Chapin High’s heartbeat was for injured lacrosse player Jack Enright.
With Enright in an Atlanta facility beginning rehabilitation for a “crush fracture” of one of his vertebra into his spinal cord he suffered during a game on March 4, the student body and faculty of Chapin High gathered in the school gymnasium to begin a tribute video for their classmate.
In a demonstration of community and school spirit, the Chapin students filled the bleachers. Then a group of teammates, including Jack’s older brother, Connor Enright, began the video with a short message.
“I love and miss you,” Connor said. “You’ve got a tough fight ahead of you, but you’ve got an amazing amount of support behind you, and we’re going to be here with you every step of the way.”
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“We can’t wait to see you get better and make a comeback,” another player said.
The student body joined in on the video, replacing their usual “We are Chapin” chant with, “Pray for Jack.” They closed the video with their “heartbeat,” a collective, rhythmic clap that symbolizes the Eagles’ solidarity.
Over the next week, students will have the opportunity to record individual messages of encouragement and support to be added to the video. Connor said he is looking forward to delivering the video to his brother on an upcoming visit.
“I hope he loves the video that we’re making for him,” Connor said. “I’m going to love it, I think. I think it’s crazy that all these people would come together for someone they didn’t even know, most of them.”
Jack Enright was initially treated at Palmetto Health Richland, where teammates, classmates and school faculty were a constant presence in the waiting room. Thursday was Jack’s first day of rehabilitation at Sheperd’s Center.
“As far as his physical condition, nothing has really changed right now. He’s in the really early stages of his rehab. But his spirits have been lifted so much by the crazy amount of support he’s been shown,” Connor Enright said. “Everyone has reached out to our family. People from all over the country, professional lacrosse players, college lacrosse players, regular individuals who just made the difference to us and just made the process so much easier.”
“We would do this for each and every one of you,” principal Akil Ross said before inviting the students onto the court. The Chapin Eagles ended their pep rally singing the school’s alma mater, arm-in-arm.
Chapin High and the Chapin community also are coming up with ways to raise money to help with Enright’s medical bills.
Chapin’s Eagle Club will be selling “TEAM JACK” shirts, car magnets and wristbands to support the Jack Enright Fund. A fundraising 5K Run is being planned. There are fundraising campaigns on GoFundMe and Kickstarter.
“Everybody wants to do something right now,” Ross said. “This is something that we are going to have to carry on for a long time. It can’t just be today. We’re not turning anything away. We’re saying what can we do to sustain things and make sure that as he continues this fight, that we’re fighting along with him.”