Chris Hebel

June 19, 2011

People talk about enjoying high school because it’s the best time of your lives. They say to enjoy your senior year because you only get one. Well, not everybody gets a senior year of high school. Not everyone gets to be a senior senior football player.

I had a teammate who missed his senior football season not because of grades, or an injury. Chris was on his way to football practice that June morning like many mornings before and summers before. 7:30 weights and conditioning Monday, Wednesday, Friday every week, every summer. June 19, 2006 my teammates lives, my coach’s lives, my classmates’ lives, and Chris and his family’s lives were changed forever. He fell asleep at the wheel on his way to practice and the minivan he was driving crossed the yellow line into the path of a tractor-trailer. The truck driver did everything he could to avoid the collision even rolling his semi, but the collision was of such force that it is believed Chris was killed on impact. Pictures of the scene showed the engine of the minivan not in its normal spot in the front of the vehicle, but in the back seat. He didn’t stand a chance.

We found out 2 hours later while we were doing some drills. A school social worker showed up at the practice field and wanted to talk to our
coach. After a brief discussion, our coach told us to pack it up and head back to the weight room. When we got back inside, we were told of the accident.

Waterloo High School, the Class of 2007, and the Waterloo Bulldogs football team honored Chris throughout the 2006-2007 school year. The Bulldogs wore Chris’ #50 on our helmets and Chris was buried wearing his black home jersey. His mother, Cheryl, wore his white #50 throughout the entire season.

The WHS Class of 2007 donated a memorial in the form of a stone that now sits on the grounds of Bulldog Stadium, the new home of the Bulldogs, at the new Waterloo High School. The memorial was dedicated in September, 2010 with a pre-game ceremony and then the Bulldogs went on to defeat the Carbondale Terriers. Chris watched over us in 2006 as we started a new tradition in Bulldog Football and he continues to watch the Bulldogs compete today.

Coach Dan Rose (middle) with Chris Hebel’s parents and family.

Chris is missed by many and will be remembered always. #50 holds a special place in our hearts.

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