Original Ole Miss Club Player Killed in Auto Accident
The lacrosse community mourns the passing of Sarah Wheat, who helped start the Ole Miss women's club lacrosse team and was the 2011 Southeastern Women's Lacrosse League Goalie of the Year. Wheat was killed in a car accident near Ole Miss' Oxford campus that also claimed the life of her brother on Oct. 27. Wheat was 23. Her brother, John, was 30.
According to local media reports, a vehicle crossed over a highway median at about 11 a.m. last Saturday and hit the Wheats' vehicle head-on. Wheat died at the scene and her brother later passed after being airlifted to a Memphis, Tenn., hospital.
Sarah Wheat was one of the original founders and players on the Ole Miss club team that was established in February 2010. The team competes in the SWLL within the Women's Collegiate Lacrosse Associates (WCLA). Last season Wheat led Ole Miss to the third seed in the SWLL tournament and allowed only 21 goals in six league games.
"This has been devastating for the women of Ole Miss Lacrosse, but it is also a loss for our league and for the game of lacrosse," SWLL president Adam Weinstein wrote in a message to WCLA committee members and league presidents. "More than that, anyone who met her and especially those who knew her well know she was also a great person off the field and she will be sorely missed."
In honor of their teammate, Ole Miss has elected to play in the SWLL's annual fall play day on Saturday in Kennesaw, Ga. The Rebels have played in the event each year of the program's existence. On Saturday, Ole Miss will leave its goalie cage open for the first 60 seconds of its first game.
A quote from Sarah Wheat's Facebook page reads, "When you were born, everyone around you was smiling and you were crying. Live your life so that when you die, you're smiling and everyone around you is crying."
John Wheat coached a local youth team and helped coach the Ole Miss men's club team in the past.
According to the Oxford (Miss.) Eagle, the driver of the car that struck the Wheats' is listed as the driver at fault in the accident that took place as the Wheats where driving home from a charity 5K run/walk in Tupelo, Miss. Oxford Police are waiting on toxicology results to see if charges will be filed against the other driver.
Sarah Wheat graduated from South River (Md.) High, where she played lacrosse. She graduated cum laude from Ole Miss with a degree in Communicative Disorders, and was working on her masters leading to a career in speech language pathology.
Sarah and John Wheat are survived by their mother, Frances Zeszutek, and father, William Wheat, and siblings Andrew and Mary.
Services for both are being held Monday, Nov. 5 from 3-7 p.m. at Waller Funeral Home in Oxford and the funeral will be 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. John's Catholic Church in Oxford. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made the University of Mississippi School of Communication Sciences and Disorders.