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Lowell Brueckner

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Coach Luneau’s Story, Part III



The Brandon Gleason Story… A Little Different

 We are reviewing Matt Luneau’s story in four segments, after having published it for the first time eight years ago. Brandon Gleason was an outstanding high school basketball player. He was not only the top scorer on his team as a senior, but if I remember right, he was the top scorer in the history of Enosberg with over 1000 points in his career. This is what I wrote then, before Matt’s account:

The high school in a town near Swanton, Vermont, called Enosburg, is very grateful to have a coach of Matt’s caliber to coach the team. In a newspaper article, Brandon Gleason, the leading scorer on the team, commented: “At first it was a little different. Guys were like, ‘Do we really have to do all of this?’ But it has helped us.” A little different? Matt insisted that the whole team up their grades. A little different? Matt went to a boy, who had missed two years of basketball, because of drug problems; he led him to Christ, the boy stopped taking drugs, and has become one of the best players on the team. Brandon Gleason also received Christ. A little different? Matt taught the team gospel songs (although they had never sung before) and took them to different churches to sing them. After a basketball victory, Matt texted a message to Brandon, “Oh, victory in Jesus!” To which Brandon texted back, “My Savior forever!”

 Standing before their former home in Syracuse, Matt texted a friend: “Why did we leave Syracuse?” He had a promising position as a women’s basketball coach in that very sports-minded university, with a larger salary and this nice home. You are about to read the answer to his question…

  While in Syracuse on Friday night at 2:30 a.m. I got a call from my player Wyatt Larose that our player, Brandon Gleason, had died in a car accident.   I could not believe it. In shock.    I just remember repeating to myself "Oh my goodness" over and over.   The phone rang again 5 minutes later and I was just hoping it was Wyatt to tell me that he was misinformed.  But it wasn't Wyatt, but it was our athletic director Chris Brigham to tell me that Brandon really did die.  Still can't believe it.    We can't sleep, and a couple hours later we get a message that my mother had a heart attack and was rushed to Burlington.  

 So we left Syracuse early this morning to head to Burlington to Fletcher Allen.    Also in the car crash was David ‘Twinkie’ Perron, and he was rushed to the hospital, and he is also at Fletcher Allen.  Twinkie is doing alright.  He is going to need surgery on his hip Monday.  Twinkie and Brandon were just the absolute best of friends.    So now we get to the hospital and Twinkie is just the floor above my mother, so we spent the time going back and forth from my mother and Twinkie.  My mother is doing alright, and will be released Monday.   

 So one time up at Twinkie's room, Twinkie requests for me to pray, so we bring everybody from the hallway and there are a lot of people in the room, like over 40 people squished in with people hanging out in the hallway.   I thank God he gave me that opportunity to bring it to Him, and make it about Him.  There were a lot of people that were hurting, and they were crying.  The sadness was great.  I just prayed and pray that they turn to God and not away from Him.   God is going to use Brandon in a mighty way here, and I am going to make sure I make the most of those opportunities for God and for Brandon. 

Swanton Church where team members, parents came

I thank God that He brought us here for Brandon.   Brandon gave his life to Jesus Christ this winter right in our kitchen and I saw the change and enthusiasm he had for Jesus.   I say again thank God He brought us here for Brandon.   We have great peace in knowing that Brandon really is with Jesus.   Although we miss him tremendously. Lots of crying.   Most of the team and other friends of the team are coming to church with us tomorrow (Sunday) to hear about God.  They would not be going to church to hear about Jesus if it was not for Brandon.    I hope God wants me to speak this week at the high school.   Pray for opportunities. 

 I do want to say a couple things about Brandon.    He was one of the most loving people I have ever met.  God showed me so much in him.  He loved everybody.   It was like God brought Brandon to me and to others to say "This is how you are supposed to love."   What a greater thing can you say about somebody?   Everybody who knew Brandon knew he was incredibly special.    I could go on and on about Brandon.   But what I am happiest about Brandon is that he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.   Thank you for all your prayers.  Keep praying.   Pray for the Enosburg community.  Pray for the Christian community.

 So why did we leave Syracuse?  Thank goodness it's because of God, Brandon Gleason, the basketball team, and the Enosburg community.

 As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes.  For the wind passes over it, and it is gone.            Psalm 103:15-16

 Get ready for unique events to take place at Enosburg High School and the Enosburg Community following the tragic death of Brandon! The apostle Paul wanted his life to glorify Christ by life or by death. You are about to see how Christ was glorified through a high school senior, a new Christian, who only months before had given his life to the Lord.  




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