(SALINA, Kan.) — They finished their season as conference champs and the number eight team in the country. Now the Kansas Wesleyan University soccer team is devastated by the sudden death of two teammates.
A day that’s usually filled with excitement turned somber Monday at Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina.
It’s the day all fall athletes return to campus. Noticeably absent are three soccer players.
They were driving from California to Kansas when they got into a car accident. Twenty-year-old Carlos Ornelas and 20-year-old Eddie Valencia died. The third player only had minor injuries and is expected in Salina on Tuesday.
Head soccer coach Mike Dibinni recruited the players from a California junior college.
While this was their first year to play at KSU they were not strangers. They were students and part of the community.
The team will have their first practice tonight. The coach says he’s not sure how much work will get done as their thoughts will be on the two students that should be on the field and the third that will join them tomorrow.
Kansas Wesleyan has counselors on-hand and says it will work with the team and the player who survived.