MONROE CITY, Mo. — The support from the Monroe City and Palmyra communities for Jamar White and his family was prevalent throughout the week.
It was no different Friday night.
As fans flocked to Lankford Field for the annual Mayor’s Cup game between Monroe City and Palmyra, dozens of fans showed up wearing shirts to show their support. Some of the shirts had “PANTHER STRONG” written across them, while others had ‘TWO TOWNS, ONE PANTHER.”
It showed while two teams can be rivals on the field, they can still support one another in times of tragedies when White, an assistant coach for Monroe City, died last Saturday in a car crash.
“Jamar always talked about family, and that’s exactly what this is,” Palmyra coach Kevin Miles said. “When the game is going on, Monroe and Palmyra hate each other, but we can still respect each other and come out here and honor a great man and a great family. I’ve got the utmost for (Monroe City coach David Kirby) and we wanted to do what was best for him and his program.”
It reality, it was the best for both communities as the White family has ties to both Monroe City and Palmyra.
As the final seconds ticked off the clock, there wasn’t a dry eye on the Monroe City sideline as coaches and players hugged one another. After the game, Kirby and Miles presented two of White’s children, Taytum and Pierce, with the game ball.
“I loved the support,” Monroe City running back Antwuan Battle said. “I liked how Monroe City and Palmyra could come together and just praise him.”
A photo was also taken of both teams and the crowd, showing how both communities came together this week.
It’s how both communities will heal, too.
“I’ve got nothing but respect for Kevin Miles and the Palmyra community,” Kirby said. “Both communities are hurting and (White’s wife Michelle) is still in a fight. I hope being able to come out and lose themselves in a game for two hours made them find some comfort. I’m really proud of everyone for the community support.”