GENEVA – David and Candace Hanson’s late son, Nick, loved sports.
The Geneva High School graduate, who died in October after a car crash, played baseball until he tore his ACL, his NCL and fractured his right leg in January 2016, his father said.
“He was playing basketball with a bunch of his baseball buddies at the [Stephen D.] Persinger Center when it happened,” David Hanson said. “It was a devastating injury. … No way he could have played baseball that year.”
As a testament to his character, Nick Hanson stayed with the team, doing creative things to get the team fired up, David Hanson said.
“He ended up being a supporter even though he could not contribute to the team on the field,” David Hanson said.
That is why David Hanson said he and his wife were pleased with the efforts of friends Michael Davis and his wife, Lynette, to spearhead getting the high school a new $18,000 baseball scoreboard and to have it dedicated in their son’s name.
“We’re just really humbled and honored to have our son Nick memorialized in this way,” David Hanson said. “We are pleased with this decision. … He would be in the dugout and he would just stand up and cheer when the Geneva defense was on the field or batting. He was right there in the middle of it with everybody else.”
Nick Hanson, 19, died Oct. 6 after having just finished his fall semester as a sophomore at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, studying business, his father said.
Nick Hanson was a passenger in a car driven by Raphael Peruzza, also 19, of Geneva, who was later charged with reckless homicide and aggravated driving under the influence in an accident causing death, both felonies, according to police and court records.
The charges against Peruzza are still pending, and David Hanson declined to comment about it.
‘What a Geneva family
is all about’
Michael Davis and his wife, Lynette, appeared before aldermen at the Geneva Committee of the Whole meeting Jan. 8 to publicize their efforts to raise $18,000 to pay for a new baseball scoreboard in memory of Nick Hanson, who loved sports, especially baseball.
“Through our kids, school and sports, we and our kids have met so many wonderful families and made so many wonderful friends,” Davis had said. “One of those families and some of those kids are the Hansons. Anyone that knows the Hansons knows that they epitomize what a Geneva family is all about. They are about the community. And now, the community is about the Hansons.”
Nick Hanson’s death was a tragedy that “hit our community very hard,” Davis said.
“But what happened next was nothing short of amazing. The community turned out in force to support the family,” Davis said. “This outpouring of support was a direct result of the stamp that Nick and the Hanson family have put on this community. Now, we need for the community to step up once again.”
The new scoreboard, Davis said, will be one that other Geneva High School players and families can be proud of for years to come.
“I actually read an article in the paper today about a limestone building that’s by the old Mill Race Inn site … this building was referenced as possibly the oldest building in all of Geneva,” Davis said. “I think our scoreboard is the second-oldest building in Geneva. So, please help us to get a new one.”
Speaking on behalf of the Shodeen Family Foundation, Craig Shodeen said the foundation would match donations up to $9,000 toward the scoreboard.
“It is our hope that as a community we all come together and we raise it this year,” Shodeen said. “It would be a pleasure to pay for the scoreboard this year. I think it’s a wonderful cause.”
Shodeen said he also asked Davis if he would be chairman of a committee to put up a scoreboard in honor of his own late son on the lacrosse field his family donated in the Mill Creek subdivision. Craig Shodeen became emotional when Davis said he would sponsor that effort as well.
Hunter Shodeen, 26, died Sept. 10, 2016.
According to a GoFundMe page for the scoreboard, nearly $6,000 has been raised so far.
Checks can be mailed to Michael or Lynette Davis, 0N620 Titus Place, Geneva IL 60134 or the Geneva High School Athletics Office, 416 McKinley Ave., Geneva IL 60134.
For those who want a tax deduction, checks should be made to Geneva High School All Sports Boosters with baseball scoreboard noted in the subject line.
Nick loved watching,
Not only is the goal to raise money to pay for the scoreboard, but to order it by February so it can be installed by the time the March baseball season begins. That way, Nick Hanson’s younger brother, Ian, 18, a shortstop and pitcher, can see it tally scores during his senior year.
“Ian is my youngest,” David Hanson said. “We’re hoping to have it done for Ian’s final season, which will be very, very special for us.”
Nick Hanson was the fourth of five children. Calvin, Jeremy and Meredith are older siblings and Ian is the youngest and the last in high school, David Hanson said.
All four boys played travel baseball and varsity baseball, and David Hanson said he also played baseball through high school and for a bit in college.
Nick Hanson loved watching and playing a lot of sports, including football, hockey, baseball and basketball, David Hanson said.
“Nick loved to laugh,” David Hanson said. “He had a very funny sense of humor and a passion for music. He knew every word to every song. He loved rock music. He loved different music and loved to dance. … He loved the outdoors. He was a nature lover ever since he was a little kid chasing frogs around our subdivision in Fisher Farms.”
David Hanson recalled that his son loved going on fishing and camping trips.
“He loved being in a boat fishing, swimming and camping,” David Hanson said. “He was always on the move.”