School Closings And Delays

Field Hockey Team Honors Coach Killed In Weekend Fire Before Game

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FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP -- It was a somber night in Columbia County for a field hockey team as they played their first game after the sudden death of their coach.

The Southern Columbia team took a moment to honor coach Ellen Sosnoski, who was killed in a house fire over the weekend.

“At this time we'd like a moment of silence to honor Coach Ellen,” said the announcer before the Southern Columbia field hockey game against Muncy.

As members of the Southern Columbia team gathered on the field, a quiet moment was held to remember their coach who was killed in a fire over the weekend.

The game against Muncy was the first game since coach Ellen Sosnoski died after a fire broke out Saturday morning inside her home near Shamokin.

“It's definitely been a challenge. We have a great bunch of girls who have taken it pretty hard,” said coach Misty Gidaro.

Before the game, the team wanted to not only remember Ellen's legacy but show support for her family in their time of need.

Ellen's husband, two young sons, her mother and sister were invited onto the field and greeted with hugs and flowers.

The girls say this game is for Ellen.

“She was the only coach I ever had, so it's very hard and she's the only coach most of us ever had and we're going to miss her a lot, but we're going to play for her,” said freshman Tiffany Dunkleberger.

“It was really heartbreaking but we kind of just figured out from now on its going to be for her and we're going to go off and it's going to be for her,” said sophomore Jadyn Brezinski.

And as a show of school solidarity, players from other Southern Columbia teams formed a circle around the field during that moment of silence.

“We've seen how much they've had to struggle through everything that's happened in the past recent days here and we thought it would be a good idea to show the support that we think they deserve,” said soccer player Matthew Haupt.

“We all pulled together. We're a family. We realize what really matters here and we're here to show up for her,” said junior Abby Shimock.

Southern Columbia beat Muncy 4 to 1.  The coroner found that Ellen died due to breathing in too much smoke but says her death and the cause of the fire remain under investigation at this time.