Russell soccer team salutes two lost teammates
Published Friday, September 19, 2014 4:38PM EDT Last Updated Friday, September 19, 2014 7:04PM EDT
The village of Russell, east of Ottawa, is reeling tonight after losing two members of the local soccer team within days of each other: one tragically, one to cancer. Both too soon. Today, residents were remembering the two men, hanging soccer jerseys on lamp posts and trees in a fitting salute to team mates, Mark Holland and Stephan Carignan. Around the tiny village, the jerseys, swaying in the wind, are a sad salute to two men who had a passion for the game and for the kids they coached.
"They were wonderful guys,” says Tom Huisman, who played with both men, “To lose anyone but to lose two of them in less than three days is pretty devastating.”
Fifty-two-year-old Stephan Carignan died Sunday, after a hard-fought battle with prostate cancer. A player on the Russell Raider Old-Timers Division 3, he had taken to the field even during cancer treatments.
“You could see that one coming,” says Huisman, as he hangs up jerseys on the lamp posts in his front yard, “despite the fact he was battling hard and the determination he showed. So we knew that one was coming. Then Wednesday morning, sixty hours later, we got the news that Mark had passed in a vehicle accident. It’s pretty devastating.”
Thirty-seven-year-old Mark Holland died Wednesday morning when his car slammed into the back of a parked transport truck along the 417, east of Boundary Road. Holland had four kids under 11 years old. He, too, played with the Raiders and coached his daughter's team.
"Really nice family guy,” says team member Eric Normandin, “super energetic and really loved kids. He will be sadly missed.”
Stephane Carignan was laid to rest today. Mark Holland will be buried next Thursday. Tonight, the Russell Raiders will host their year-end wind-up and present both men with the "Golden Boot" award for team spirit and for enriching the lives of others.