Team honors coach by following her example - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Team honors coach by following her example

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Coach Shannon Wessinger and her daughter watch the White Knoll Softball Team Coach Shannon Wessinger and her daughter watch the White Knoll Softball Team

"They put '2013 season dedication'. It's got my name on it and it says we love you," said White Knoll Softball Coach Shannon Wessinger, describing a signed softball she received Friday night.

"It's nice to know someone cares."

Wessinger said she received a great gesture from a team and sport she loves. Her White Knoll J-V girls dedicated this season to their beloved assistant coach.

"You don't realize how much you love your job until it's not there," she said. "Once you're back, you're like, 'This is what I missed.'"

Last year, a day after giving birth to her son, a series of infections put Wessinger in a coma. In order to save her life, doctors had to amputate Wessinger's hands and her feet.

Working with her new prostheses, she's made remarkable progress.

"Gone back to work full time," she said. "I'm driving. And helping take care of my kids. I'm not doing everything I want to do but I'm still working on it. Things are a lot better."

It's been a tough journey. But her family and her girls have been there every step of the way.

"She's a great inspiration to all of us," said player Ashley Brantley. "She's been there from the beginning. And even though she's been though a tough time, she's recovered and she is the same person."

"I think it gives us more motivation to win and makes us determined to do as good as we possibly can in order to make this season really count," said player Meghan Brantley.

"We want to win for her," said player Kelsey Campbell.

Wessinger is a competitor and a champion. It's what she's used to. And she's still not letting anything defeat that attitude.  It's a message she drives home to her girls in the field.

"They need to know they can achieve whatever they want to as long as they work hard at it," said Wessinger. "They can do whatever they choose. Just don't let anything take them down, they'll be good."

It's message they received loud and clear.

"Thank you for always being there for us even though you're going through a whole lot right now. And you're really just an inspiration to us," said Meghan Brantley.

White Knoll beat Brookland-Cayce 18-3 in the Carolina Invitational Tournament.  The invitational Saturday at 8 a.m. at the Oak Grove Sports Complex in Lexington.

Copyright 2013 WIS.  All rights reserved.

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