Softball coach rallies team after player dies in tornado

MOORE, Okla. — Landon McNeill may look intimidating. But his softball team says “Coach Landon” is a just big teddy bear with an even bigger heart. He’s been coaching girls softball here in Moore, for years.

No season was more challenging than last spring. Landon, his players and their families suffered a heartbreaking loss May 20th.

Short stop, 9-year-old Sydney Angle was among the 7 casualties in Plaza Towers Elementary.

McNeill said, “Sydney was just like family to us. It was tough. It was tough. The most difficult thing I’ve ever been through.”

McNeill orchestrated fundraisers, softball tournaments and draped Sydney’s family with a canopy of love.

McNeill said, “It’s family. That’s what softball has really become for us.¬†They mean the world to us. They really do.”

And for that reason, parent, Alana McAnally nominated Landon for Pay It 4Ward.

McAnally told us, “We had a tragedy on our team last year and he was the first one to step up. Literally walking into the tornado zone to look for kids and pull kids out. He didn’t sleep for 2 days until he knew where all the kids were at.”

Landon says he’ll invest the Spirit Mortgage $400 back into his softball team. He also hosted a memorial tournament for number 35 recently!

And all those proceeds are being donated to Moore schools for tornado shelters in Sydney’s name.