Oakwood High School’s boys’ tennis team followed through Monday evening on a promise to honor Kyle Plush, the Cincinnati teen who died in April when he suffocated after being pinned by a seat in his minivan.
Before a tennis match against Cincinnati Seven Hills, Oakwood players donned wristbands with Plush’s initials and a heart on them. Plush was a member of the Seven Hills’ tennis team.
Before the opening handshake between the two teams, the Oakwood players then presented the wristbands to Plush’s teammates.
Oakwood tennis players Sam Lahmon and Peter Haverland spearheaded the effort to make the presentation.
Lahmon, a junior, who is captain of the team, sought out his coach about doing something special to honor Plush and provide comfort to his teammates.
“We handed the the players the wristbands during introductions and after the match their coach said that some of their players were surprised by our gesture of respect and felt our intended support,” he said. “Our team may forget our individual scores but we will never forget that match.”
Haverland, who is a senior, explained that the tragic death touched people in the sports world and inspired his teammates to do something special.
“The match yesterday went great. Before the match we shook the Seven Hills players’ hands and gave each player a wristband with Kyle’s initials. It was really nice,” Haverland said. “The players didn’t know that we would be giving them the wristbands, so they were a little surprised, but still very grateful. They came up to our coach and thanked her personally. I don’t think any of the other teams they played had done anything like that yet.”
Plush called 911 twice on the afternoon of April 10, screaming and pleading for help as he suffocated inside his gold Honda Odyssey in a parking lot at his school.
Plush, 16, a sophomore on the Seven Hills’ tennis team, was apparently reaching for his tennis gear in the rear hatch of the van when the third-row bench seat tipped backward and pinned him, upside down, in the hatch area with the seat digging into his chest, according to investigators.