A Tournament to Remember a Viking

The Jacob Ranton Memorial Tournament held this past weekend honoured the memory of a former Viking and raised awareness about suicide prevention.

In December of 2014, Waterloo Collegiate lost an amazing former student named Jacob Ranton. Staff and students remember him as a basketball-loving goofy giant, who always had on smile his face. This year, on Friday and Saturday, December 11 and 12, hosted a basketball tournament in memory of this cherished student.

For many years WCI and Bluevale Collegiate have co-hosted a senior boys basketball tournament, formerly known as the Knights-Vikings Roundball Classic. This year Jacob’s friends, family and former team partnered with the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council to host the tournament in honour of his life, giving this tournament its new name: the Jacob Ranton Memorial Tournament.

The first game of the tournament, between WCI and St. David’s Catholic Secondary School was a show of sportsmanship. While WCI won the game 60-39, it was the heart warming halftime that resonated with spectators the most.

Craig Nickel, the Student Activities director at WCI and a close family friend of the Rantons, began the speeches by thanking everyone for attending and by introducing Doug and Sandra Ranton, Jacob’s parents.

The packed gymnasium grew silent while Doug and Sandra spoke about the tournament, both wearing T-shirts with the saying “My Life Matters” on them. Doug told spectators about his son, mentioning the talented basketball player, the great friend, the amazing person, and the very loved son he was.

Of his son Doug said, “Whether it was being the guy anyone could turn to if they needed help or advice, or whether it was charitable work through student council, Jacob was there.”

Sandra continued the speech by talking about mental health and the Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention program. She encouraged students to speak out and to get help for themselves or someone they know who could be struggling.

All of the proceeds raised from that tournament were donated to the suicide prevention program. As of the publication of this article, over $18,000 has been raised.

A fundraising page has been set up by Canada Helps.

Article: Chloe Wolf

Photography: Mel Sauve