by Dave Franklin | MCLA.us
I was up in Lake Placid in 2016 and between games I noticed an elite team of active college kids wearing jerseys with a red bandanna print. I went up to one of the players and asked what the team was about. He pointed to a broad man in a white BC lacrosse golf shirt and his wife, wearing a red bandanna print sundress.
It was Mr. and Mrs. Crowther, Jefferson and Alison.
I had to introduce myself and pulled up some old Inside Lacrosse pieces on my phone that mentioned Welles. I even told them about my high school friend, Harry Anscher who was such a strong player at BC from 2009-2012.
Mrs. Crowther handed me a red bandana and invited me to a book reading and signing of "The Red Bandanna," by ESPN reporter Tom Rinaldi.
When scripting the 2011 ESPN documentary, Rinaldi was inspired to write about Welles and it was to be released that September in 2016.
The Sunday that followed the reading was 9/11. I did not live far from the memorial and I decided I was going to visit Welles' name that night on plaque S-50.
The thing was covered in flowers, and pictures and red bandannas. You could hardly see his name.
However, I made a vow to myself that over the course of the next year, before 9/11/17, I would return to the memorial 18 more times until I had made 19 total visits and washed his name with that red bandana with the water that cascades down from the plaques to the memorial pool.
Each time I went, I would mark the bandana with a tally from a black sharpie and I would not stop until it had 19 tallies on it. That water-stained red bandanna with the 19 marks is now in the possession of John Carroll, the number 19 backup goalie of BC's 2018 team.
It has been that way since I announced BC's game against GCU in Arizona in early March of last year.
My dad died 25 days after I gave my bandanna to Coach Dedonatis and John Carroll. Jefferson Crowther died 320 days after that. While I can't imagine how Welles' mother and sister felt in 2001, I know all too well with how they must feel now.
On behalf of the MCLA, I wish Mrs. Alison Crowther and her daughters, Honor and Paige (Jefferson's daughters and Welles' sisters) the most heartfelt of condolences.
I hope Welles and Jefferson take a break from their lacrosse catch upstairs, wipe their sweat off with their red bandannas and enjoy reading this.