Southern Columbia Mourning the Loss of Field Hockey Coach

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP -- A deadly fire in Northumberland County was at the home of the field hockey coach for Southern Columbia Area High School.

Officials confirmed Monday afternoon, Ellen Sosnoski is the one who died in the fire.

The Southern Columbia Area School District is distraught.

Faculty members lost a friend, 30 field hockey players lost a beloved coach, and two young boys--also students in the district--lost their mother.

"You hate to see young people suffer and hurt emotionally and they are suffering emotionally," said Superintendent Paul Caputo, Southern Columbia Area School District.

Students and faculty are dealing with the news that their field hockey coach was the woman killed in a fire Saturday morning.

The fire was at Sosnoski's home near Shamokin in Northumberland County.

The district allowed students to gather at the high school over the weekend with counselors. Councilors were also available on Monday to help students and faculty deal with the loss of a beloved coach.

"We've had a couple of members of the team that came down and made a poster for tomorrow night's game and wrote some messages for their coach," said James Becker, Southern Columbia Area High School.

Monday's field hockey game was canceled as students and players in the district grieve, but the team has decided they are going to get back on the field on Tuesday and play their next game. They say it is what their coach would've wanted.

"I think prior to the game there will be emotions, but I am hoping during the game we stay focused, the kids will be able to enjoy themselves, and play a hard game because that is what their coach would've wanted them to do."

The high school principal says while many field hockey players and faculty grieve for their beloved coach, on the top of everyone's mind is that no one's pain may be greater than two particular students in the district: Sosnoski's sons.

"When it affects the kids, that is when it really hurts. But kids are resilient and we are going to give them support the best we can and try and move on in a positive direction."

There’s no word on funeral arrangements for Sosnoski, but players and people in the community are expected to honor her at Tuesday night's game.

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