Jasper soccer team honors teammate killed in December car crash

Jasper soccer game honors mother and daughter killed in December car crash
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 4:13 PM CDT
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JASPER, Ind. (WFIE) - A special tribute to honor the lives of a mother and daughter killed in a car crash took place Monday in Jasper.

Back in December of 2022, Jasper High School teacher Julie Schnell and her youngest daughter Alayna died in a crash on State Road 64 in Dubois County.

A tribute for Julie and Alayna Schnell took place Monday night at the final home soccer game of the season.

Losing Alayna Schnell and her mother was a shock to the whole community.

Everyone who knew Alayna says how she was always smiling, and her father says there were few places she smiled more than the soccer field.

“It was always soccer. Loved soccer from the get-go,” said Alayna’s father, Ryan Schnell. “She played with heart all the time.”

Alayna’s death hurt everyone, including her teammates. They say she was irreplaceable.

“You can’t describe your emotions in that moment,” said teammate, Harper Gunn. “She was really passionate about everything she did. She would never start something without finishing it. She gave everything to whatever she did.”

The soccer team dedicated their season to Alayna. Before each game, they’d put up her jersey and shout, “For Alayna” before taking the field.

“Everyday we talk about her and keep her in our hearts and in our minds, and it just translates to the field and what they’re doing in the classroom,” said Jasper coach, Andres Schroeder.

Before the team’s last game, Ryan Schnell said he’d like a jersey with Alayna’s number.

“We’ve been involved in soccer for a long long time in Jasper, so it’s just very special to our family,” said Ryan.

Instead of a regular jersey, the team gave him one they all signed and wrote how much Alayna meant to them.

“They’ve struggled to with all of this and for all of them to do this for me and my other daughter Addie is just remarkable,” said Ryan. “I don’t know how to explain it. It means a lot to have this.”

Jasper Middle School’s Girls Soccer team went out and won their last game.

They’ll be remembered for years as the first team in school history to finish undefeated, but by one father, they’ll be remembered for something more.

Ryan says he’s very grateful for everything the team has done for his family.