VIRGINIA BEACH (WAVY) – In the dugout of the Virginia Wesleyan University softball team is a reminder.
A reminder of the worst day in head coach Brandon Elliot’s life. The day he lost his mother Elaine to cancer.
Nine years and exactly two days later, one of his own players had to suffer that same pain. It was last fall, on September 10, that Madison Glaubke sat next to her mother Margerie, as she lost her months-long battle with cancer.
“I lost it,” said the Marlins’ sophomore outfielder. “I didn’t even know what to say.”
Margerie’s health had been in decline for some time. It was during that time Madison and Elliot formed a special bond.
“One of the things my mother used to tell me was, ‘Cancer is going to take me, but don’t let it take your life away,'” said Elliot, who led the Marlins to a national championship last season.
“That was one of the things I kept trying to tell (Madison).”
Glaubke responded the only way she knew how…on the softball field. She batted .457 against Old Dominion Athletic Conference competition, which was best in the league.
And after not even being named an All-Conference performer a season ago, she was honored with the ODAC Player of the Year this season. “I just broke down,” said Glaubke after finding out she’d won the award.
“I wasn’t going to let people feel sorry for me.”
On top of that, during the school’s annual athletics banquet on Wednesday night, she was given the Elaine F. Spears Courage Award. The honor is named after Elliot’s mother, and presented by Elliot himself.
“She (my mom) is really watching, and I’m sure she’s really proud of me,” said Glaubke.