He dug his heels in and never wavered, no matter the opponent, no matter the disfavor. He grinned and bared it and now he can rest – Forever our hero, forever the best!
BJ Ranier had a lifelong impact on everyone he met. Whether it was sports – football, track & field, golf – or other areas of his life, like Scouts where he earned the rank of Eagle Scout, he was a fierce competitor on and off the field. BJ lived his life motto “Be an athlete; Keep pounding” every day of his life.
BJ was diagnosed with Leukemia during his freshman year of college. He had to give up playing football and move closer to home for his treatment, but turned to coaching at his alma mater, Norton High School. At the same time he was going through treatment and coaching, BJ was a student at Kent State University majoring in Pathology. In his last semester, BJ would go to radiation at 7am and then to his chemistry class on campus. He wanted to become a Pathologist and help cure Leukemia – he never told his professors he had the disease. BJ fought a courageous four year battle against Leukemia and died on August 23, 2013, just weeks before his planned wedding at the age of 22.
THE PROJECT: BJ left a legacy at Norton High School, not just in sports but in the lives of those he touched. A new high school and stadium will be built in Norton and a life size fighting panther on the attack sculpture will be an integral part of the new stadium. Local artist, Virgil Villers will design and create the sculpture. “What a great tribute to BJ and his love for life, sports, and his school which was such an important part of his life. I am so happy I can be part of his legacy.”
Mr. Villers is donating his time to create the sculpture but we need to raise the funds for materials, casting, and placement. We hope to raise $20,000 by this campaign and events that will be hosted to support the project and have it completed by the time the new high school and stadium complex is completed in 2015.
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