In the world of athletics, the players are highlighted for their accomplishments on the field and their physical talents.
The coaches get attention for how they develop a player or win and lose on the field or on the court. You have the cheerleaders that fire the crowd up and pep up the players with the dance team and band doing their part to add to the excitement of the event and contribute to the athletics programs.
Behind all the great athletic programs are the fans. The ones that support the teams and go out of their way to make the experiences of everyone involved in athletics special and memorable.
When I heard about the passing of Jerry Ainsworth, I couldn’t help but think of Delta State University athletics and the support Jerry and his wife Rosemary gave to all the programs. Growing up, Mr. and Mrs. Ainsworth and my parents were great friends and my sister Tammy and their daughter Carmen were thick as thieves.
I knew how special they were but when I started working at The Bolivar Commercial, I understood right away how deep their love for DSU athletics went.
They loved everyone involved with the programs. It was very commonplace to see Mr. Ainsworth cooking great food at the events and making sure everyone got their fill. Mr. and Mrs. Ainsworth were together at all the events cheering the teams on. Mrs. Ainsworth, who passed away on Aug. 31, 2016, developed friendships with the coaches and players and showed her love for them along with Mr. Ainsworth.
Looking at Facebook posts over the last couple of days, the lives they touched are too numerous to count. Many people talk about leaving a great legacy. The legacy Mr. and Mrs. Ainsworth left is one of love, laughter and kindness. They made everyone at DSU a part of their family and they were a part of the DSU family.
It was strange going to DSU events without seeing Mrs. Ainsworth with Mr. Ainsworth and it will be even more strange without seeing either one of them. They may not physically be with us but I know when the sports season begins, they’ll be looking down from Heaven cheering on the Statesmen and Lady Statesmen. We love you and miss you. Thank you for being a part of our lives. Y’all made this world a better place.