WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF)– For this weeks Bordas and Bordas Beyond the Field, this collegiate athlete took the news of a horrible accident and turned it into motivation.  

It was hard… It was a hard experience and something I’ve never really been through before… 

Jake Keenan, Wheeling University, Senior

Wheeling University football captain, Jake Keenan decided to dedicate his last season to a friend.

One that’s life was cut way too short. 

I thought it would be a good way to honor him by changing my number to number seven.

He passed away in a motorcycle accident last April, so it’s been a taught time ever since.

Jake Keenan, Wheeling University, Senior

At a time when it could be easy to crawl into darkness and hide, Keenan decided he wouldn’t let this tragic moment knock him down.  

It really came down to I just had to put my head down and do what I knew he’d want me to do and that would be to focus on my last year of football, get through it and then get on the field and show what I can do.

Jake Keenan, Wheeling University, Senior

Sy Alli is a captain alongside Keenan, and he says he raises the bar for the whole team.  

He not only influences you to be a better player but a better person. 

Jake Keenan, I mean he leads by example every day, on the field and off the field. He is an overall great guy and does everything by the book. You can’t really ask for much more from him. He’s a great guy. We love him.

Sy Alli, Wheeling University, Senior

Keenan says what better way to honor someone’s legacy than to spread positivity? 

He says he’s lucky enough to be in a position where he can motivate and encourage his teammates.  

Being a captain is definitely something that I am really grateful to have achieved being here because it is team voted. So just really keeping guys in line, staying on top, doing the right things, and keeping our team values always in mind. That is something that has definitely been driving me this year being captain and leading this team the right way. 

Jake Keenan, Wheeling University, Senior

Keenan will be repping #7 for the Cardinals all season long. 

When you’re watching a game remember, that each player has a story that goes beyond the field.