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September 19, 2018

Sandy Creek press box dedicated to Sue Bitz


On September 13, the Sandy Creek Comets dedicated not only the stadium press box in honor of long-time teacher and Comet fan, Susan Bitz, the football team dedicated their season to her as well.

Sandy Creek head football coach Mike Stevens and high school guidance counselor Tanya VanOrnum embrace following the emotional dedication ceremony of the Sue Bitz press box at the stadium complex at the school. “She was our number one fan,” Stevens said of Bitz.

Sandy Creek head football coach Mike Stevens and high school guidance counselor Tanya VanOrnum embrace following the emotional dedication ceremony of the Sue Bitz press box at the stadium complex at the school. “She was our number one fan,” Stevens said of Bitz.

The team members will wear a small purple heart with the initials S.B. on their helmets. Team members, friends, staff, and community members lined the football field in a drizzling rain for the dedication ceremony to honor the memory of their beloved “Ms. Bitz.”

“She was the heart and soul of the Sandy Creek football team,” said Tanya VanOrnum, guidance counselor at Sandy Creek High School and friend of Bitz, calling her a passionate, amazing teacher and friend. Bitz lost her battle with cancer in August.

Mike Stevens, head football coach and athletic coordinator for the school said, “The press box was one place Ms. Bitz always wanted to be on a Friday night. We all have our stories and our memories of Ms. Bitz.”

Many of which started years ago before the press box, with spaghetti dinner fundraisers.

Fans in the bleachers are pictured during the first home game on September 13th where the Sandy Creek Comets soundly defeated the New York Mills squad with a score of 44-14. The Comets team has dedicated their season to Sue Bitz and a special dedication was held to rename the press box in Bitz’ honor prior to the game.

Fans in the bleachers are pictured during the first home game on September 13th where the Sandy Creek Comets soundly defeated the New York Mills squad with a score of 44-14. The Comets team has dedicated their season to Sue Bitz and a special dedication was held to rename the press box in Bitz’ honor prior to the game.

Bitz continued that tradition by cooking spaghetti dinners for the teams even after the money was raised to build the press box.

“Anything that needed to be done,” said Stevens, “it was automatic – Ms. Bitz was there.”

One of her favorite sayings was, “Life is good.”

And according to Stevens, she made the most of it, living life to the fullest and sharing that zest for life with others, especially her sports teams.

“She was a mother to every player,” he said.

“This dedication is to always remember and continue her legacy,” Stevens added.

Several hundred people gathered at the Sandy Creek Stadium complex before the first home football game of the season to dedicate the press box in memory of Susan Bitz.

Several hundred people gathered at the Sandy Creek Stadium complex before the first home football game of the season to dedicate the press box in memory of Susan Bitz.

In an emotional and heartfelt unveiling, the sign attached to the press box was revealed and Stevens tearfully said, “Life is good, it’s just not the same without her.”

The handpainted sign that adorns the press box was painted and lettered by Cody Donohue, a Sandy Creek graduate and former student of Ms. Bitz. Donohue is an accomplished artist who has done many other art projects for the district.

The metal sign was seal coated by Plateau Enterprise so it can serve for years to come as a reminder to all who attend sporting events at Sandy Creek that an incredible teacher, friend, and mother to many from the area continues to watch over her “family.”

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