NEWCASTLE (KFDX/KJTL) — Less than two weeks ago, Kerri Forbus was leaving her daughter’s volleyball game when she was killed in a car crash.
While this alone was a tragedy for the community, the bus carrying the Newcastle volleyball team, including her daughter Kinzee, were some of the first people at the scene.
Since that day, Saturday, October 7, 2023, the Newcastle community has come together to support Kerri’s husband and three daughters.
“There’s no real silver lining in this. But if you had to find one, that would be it,” Shane Mallory, Superintendent of Newcastle ISD, said. “To watch a community really just come together and do what’s best for a family, for some kids, and just to watch people show up, support and do whatever is needed to help try to get them through this.”
Her middle daughter–Kinzee, has been championed by her coaches and teammates.
“We keep talking about how the team can be a family and it doesn’t take blood to be a family,” the volleyball team’s head coach Ashley Archer said. “And, I think that that’s even been more evident throughout the week as time has gone on.”
The Lady Cats volleyball team put together a T-shirt fundraiser to honor Kerri’s life, using the phrase “Mourning to dancing.”
“It was about trying to find some comfort in a really bad situation and maybe some joy and just that our God is never going to let us down,” Archer said. “He is in charge of everything. And, the girls… They’re always dancing at the games, and we just thought it would be cool to implement something that they love and enjoy. We just wanted to dance for Kerri.”
The team has been dedicated to honoring Kerri’s life, even decking themselves out in purple: Kerri’s favorite color.
While Newcastle and Bryson are traditional rivals, for this game on Tuesday, October 17, things were a little different.
The Bryson Cowgirls wore the special T-shirts and gave the team purple flowers in support of Kinzee. In addition to the T-shirts, the community has been raising donations and auctioning off items to raise money for funeral costs.
“We’re just trying to help out and take away some of the pressure that, you know, the monetary pressure that families feel when they go through things like this,” Mallory said. “That’s not such a stress on them and that when those girls are up here that we’re loving on them and hugging on them and trying to get them through their days because there are going to be tough days ahead of them. There’s no doubt about it.”
The Lady Cats said they appreciate all thoughts and prayers provided by the community.