By Emma Russell
Student Life Editor
On Jan. 25 the President’s Office emailed the student body, informing them of the death of junior Blakeslee Erdmann, affectionately known as Blake.
Erdmann was a former member of the men’s lacrosse team but needed to step away last Oct. due to medical reasons.
“When he left nothing really changed other than the fact that he wasn’t on the roster. He was still treated like a teammate, he was still a guy I checked in with, he was still a guy that we all really cared about and was gonna stick as part of the family,” Coach of the men’s lacrosse team Jeffrey Shirk said. “He stepped away for medical reasons, but he is still very much part of this team and part of this family.”
Erdmann attended The Benjamin School, a private high school in West Palm Beach Florida, where he was recruited by Washington College to play offense in lacrosse.
“Blake was the guy who would kind of light up the room, whenever he walked in. I would walk in the locker room and the guys would be laughing because Blake was doing something, or on the bus and we’re getting ready to travel and guys are laughing because Blake is doing something. He was definitely the kind of that social guy who was friends with everybody,” Shirk said.
According to Shirk, Erdmann really helped bring the team closer together. “And that’s why it’s been so tough, it’s just you lose that kind of personality… and it just makes it even that much harder to deal with because you become accustomed … you know I wake up, and Blake makes me laugh, and where is he?”
One of Erdmann’s teammates, junior Ryan Leahy, said that Blake was a loyal teammate.
“Blake was always there for you no matter the circumstances. He stuck up for everyone else and never backed down in any scenario,” Leahy said.
Leahy met Erdmann during his freshman year, but they discovered they were both from Florida and had actually been playing against one another in lacrosse matches for several years.
According to Leahy, Erdmann loved hunting, fishing, free diving, the Green Bay Packers, and going for walks around Chestertown with his friends and teammates.
“A lot of people didn’t know but Blake was a history nerd. He loved watching old war movies or reading books of that nature,” he said.
“Blake wouldn’t want us to mourn his passing for long, he was the epitome of someone full of life, he would want us to celebrate his life forever. He’s left memories for us to cherish and remember him forever and he’s looking down, smiling on all of Chestertown every day,” Leahy said.
Senior Alana Pecchioli was Erdmann’s girlfriend. The two had been together for almost three years.
“Blake was just a special kid. He was so fearless he almost seemed invincible. He was so loyal and caring. He had this way of making everyone feel special, in a room full of people he made you feel like it was just the two of you. He had this charismatic aura around him where you just got sucked in immediately,” Pecchioli said. “Blake lit up any room he entered and loved to have fun. His dad always calls him the “King of Fun” because he truly was that… always searching for a good time. He was a kid with a giant heart and amazing personality whose presence in this world will be greatly missed.”
Pecchioli said she believes that due to the nature of WC being a small community, it gave Erdmann a chance to have touched people, even if only in the smallest of ways.
“For some, he was a teammate and brother and for others he was just a friendly smile in the classroom. Then for someone like me, he was my other half. To others, he was a housemate or a really loud neighbor who was always banging on the walls,” she said.
“Thank you for all of the love and support everyone has shown not only me, but his family, friends, and teammates. I don’t think we could get through this without that from the community. Please keep the Erdmann family in your thoughts and prayers” Pecchioli said.
Those who knew Erdmann can’t help but agree that he was a lively presence, who will be missed greatly.
On Saturday Feb. 13, at 6:30 pm a Celebration of Life event honoring Erdmann will be held at Kibler Stadium.
According to an email sent out by student affairs, “This special event will include reflections and memories shared by a small group of speakers, a send-off of 49 paper lanterns in honor of #49, and a final silent lap around the track.”
The event will be live-streamed for students who reside off-campus.
Counseling Services are also available to any students experiencing grief. To set up an appointment email Miranda Altman at email@example.com.
Featured Photo of Blake Erdmann. Photo below of Blake and his girlfriend Alana Pecchioli. Photos Courtesy of Alana Pecchioli.