Warhawks play with heavy hearts, fall to third-place game

West Fork sophomore Edison Caspers is hugged, greeted by teammates, led by Ian Latham after he came off the court on an emotional day. (Kristi Nixon/Hampton Chronicle)

DES MOINES – Already playing with heavy hearts since the sudden passing of Edison Caspers’ father, Ed, on Tuesday, the West Fork boys’ basketball team lost in the Class 1A state semifinal 66-52 to Algona Garrigan on Wednesday, March 11 at Wells Fargo Arena.

All members of the West Fork team were wearing black WF T-shirts with ‘Caspers’ on their backs during warm-ups.

“Playing this game, obviously everyone is upset,” senior guard Ian Latham said. “Everyone wants to make it to the championship game, but there is so many more things that are bigger than basketball. You know? It’s just a blessing to be able to have this opportunity to be able to play the game that we love and to play it on the biggest stage in Iowa. It truly doesn’t get any better than that. Our hearts go out to the whole Caspers family. I can’t even imagine losing a father like that.

“The support is tremendous. I can’t speak enough to how much support we’ve been trying to give them. I can’t even imagine going through that.”

Junior Jakob Washington, who led the Warhawks with 17 points, added, “I have to say my hat is off to him. He came to practice yesterday after he found out about it. He came today, his sister (Emily) came and I don’t know about his mother, I assume, but...I keep thinking about what they are going through right now at this time, during state. It really breaks my heart..."

The full story appears in the March 19 print editions of both the Sheffield Press and Pioneer Enterprise.