MEDINA, N.Y. (WIVB) – It’s been two months since a tragic accident in Wheatfield left two teenagers dead. Melanie Aronow and Quincy Harper were both just 18-years-old when they were struck and killed by a car. The driver, 20, faced a judge and the victims families Wednesday. he’s due back in court next month. Quincy Harper’s brother, Ronnie Koonce, has been keeping his memory alive in a unique way since his death.
Before every game, Koonce and his team take the field and remember his older brother Quincy. He said, “We pray before the game and we dedicate every game and practice for him- thats our motivation to work because we know hes there watching.” Football was something that brought his family together. He said, “All three of us played. Me, Quincy and my older brother Forrest.”
And Quincy came to every-one of his brother’s games. Koonce said he was someone everybody knew and his death was something that impacted the entire community.
Eric Valley, Head Coach of the Medina Football team said, “It has a huge ripple effect. Especially within the school because the kids aren’t used to a loss of that magnitude, or a lot of adults for that matter.”
The accident happened right at the end of summer football camp. But Koonce said he wanted to play. “Ronnie wanted to come to practice, and so I told everyone else, if Ronnie wants to come to practice, you’re all going to be here. He needs us.”
Football kept him grounded and on track. He said, “Sports is the only thing that I don’t think about it when I’m doing it because i’m distracted by something else.”
He has his days when he thinks about his brothers loss, but he says its a priority to keep his grades up, mainly because Quincy pushed him to do well in school.
Valley said, “He’s not gone from our thoughts. It’s something that comes up over and over and we talk to the kids about taking advantage of the opportunities in front of them and would he be proud and his name comes up.”
For now Ronnie has big dreams, of one day maybe getting into law and definitely playing football in college.