On January 10th, 2020, I photographed the Northwest Lions Senior Night Mid-States Hockey game against the Webster Groves Statesmen. The normal senior night acknowledgements prior to the game took place and the Lion’s Class of 2020 seniors were recognized. I love those moments! Yes, there were tears from moms, dads, and some of the seniors. But what happened at the conclusion of the game was something very special, and there were tears from a lot more people than just those participating in the senior night activities.
Lainey Bartleson is also a senior at Northwest High School in Cedar Hill. On the outside she may appear to be your normal high school kid, but the reality is, she’s a fighting machine! This young woman had to fight a fight that no kid should ever have to deal with. Cancer. Man, I hate it so much! It’s taken too many family and friends from me through the years. So, on those occasions when someone defeats cancer, I absolutely love it! Lainey Bartleson has beaten, and continues to beat, cancer like a boss! In addition to beating the crud out of cancer, Lainey played volleyball for the Lions. She’s legit on the court, and she’s as tenacious at volleyball as she was in punching cancer right in the face!
Back to the game, the Lions beat the Statesmen 1-0 behind some great defensive play and outstanding goal tending. After emerging victorious, Lions Head Coach, Ziggy Zieglar, was able to recognize Lainey and present her with a check to help offset the costs of her treatments. I’ve been photographing the Northwest Lions Hockey Club for several seasons now, and we’ve been blessed and truly thankful to be their team photographer the past two seasons. I’m not in the least surprised at this outpouring of generosity from the Lions. Well done boys, well done!