Tag Archives: Nick Tripp

Nick Tripp Memorial at KHS

The Citizen did a great article today for the memorial for Nick Tripp at KHS:

Although he graduated from Keller in 2006, Nick Tripp’s baseball family didn’t lag in establishing a memorial at Indian Field after he passed away on March 15.

On April 24, the team, family and friends dedicated the memorial to the former Indian baseball player with a tree and inscribed rock just behind the Keller dugout.

Tripp had played for Keller all four years of his high school career and was known for his athletic ability, competitive nature and sense of humor. He also played linebacker for the Keller football team, but his real love was baseball.

Tripp played third base his freshman and sophomore years, first base his junior year and outfield his senior year.

His absence from the program didn’t diminish the memory of the baseball alumnus, especially from the families who continue to have boys in the program.

It was from the planning of two families, Kathy and Danny Merck, and Jan and Kenny Smith, that allowed the memorial to Tripp to go from mere discussion to reality in about a month’s time.

“We asked other parents what we could do,” Kathy Merck said. “We just knew that whatever we did, we wanted it in the baseball complex so that everyone could see it.”

Contributions came in, including the donation of the red oak tree by T.J. Stankewicz.

Sitting at the foot of the tree is an inscribed stone which reads, “In Memory of Nick Tripp. Class of 2006.”

Additional contributions to the fund by current and previous baseball families were made to Sundown Ranch in Canton, the family’s designated beneficiary for memorials.

Keller head coach Rob Stramp remembers Tripp as a real competitor on the field.

“He played the game really hard,” Stramp said. “His uniform was always the dirtiest for one reason or the other, and his eye black was always smeared across his face. He always did the little things that help you win.

“I remember a home run he hit against Richland to help get us going in that game … including a play while he was at third, where he scooped a ball going to his left and then flipped the ball underhand from his glove all the way over to second for a force out. I’ve never seen that before.”

It wasn’t just how hard he played that made Tripp stand out in Stramp’s mind.

“He was one of the smartest players we’ve had,” he said. “He had a high baseball IQ. He knew how to play the game.”

Tripp’s last full game as an Indian was March 6, 2006, as the Indians faced Plano at Ameriquest Field. It was a game where Tripp did more of the little things Stramp spoke of, including laying down two drag-bunt singles.

Soon after, Tripp would take leave from the team to visit Sundown Ranch to help put his personal life back in order. Tripp would return in time for the playoffs that season.

Following high school, Tripp joined the Marines and was recently stationed at Camp LeJeune, N.C., until his death.

“He said he joined the Marines to save his life,” Tripp’s mother, Melinda Tripp, said. “He was back home during Christmas and he was just awesome.

“We just don’t fully understand drug addiction,” she said. “It’s here and it’s real and we hope someone is helped by telling his story.”

The dedication ceremony was held on Senior Night, the last home game of the regular season. It was also the first time the Tripp family had been back to the ballpark since Nick’s death.

“When Melinda came, she was a little upset,” Kathy Merck said. “When she heard the crack of the bat again, it brought tears to her eyes. She remembered how much Nick loved baseball. It was bittersweet.”

Following the ceremony, the Indians circled the tree and decided to hold their pre-game prayer kneeling around the new memorial.

I want to thank the readers contributed to the cause.  It was very much appreciated.


Nick Tripp’s Obituary

From the FWST:

William Nicholas “Nick” Tripp passed away Sunday, March 15, 2009.
Funeral: 10 a.m. Saturday at the First Baptist Church of Keller. Interment: Nick will be laid to rest in Bourland Cemetery with full military honors. Visitation: The family will receive friends 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Lucas Funeral Home, 137 E. Hill St., Keller.
Memorials: You may honor Nick with a memorial to Sundown Ranch, 3120 VZCR 2318, Canton, Texas 75103, http://www.sundownranchinc.com. When his family relocated to Texas from Arkansas, Nick attended Keller schools and graduated from Keller High School in 2006. Nick was an outstanding athlete and loved to play many sports, but his true love was baseball. He loved the outdoors and with that came hunting, fishing and camping, where many memorable times were spent with family and friends.
After graduation, Nick joined the U.S. Marine Corps in October 2007. He was currently stationed at Camp LeJeune, N.C. One might sum up Nick’s life by saying that although he could run, jump, hit and throw, his best game was laughter.
He was preceded in death by Bill Tripp.
Survivors: Parents, Rusty and Melinda Tripp; brother, Christopher Tripp; sisters, Becca Tripp and Jennifer Noyes; grandfather, Glenn Shahan; grandmothers, Janis Shahan and Alene Ledbetter; and his extended family of aunts and uncles.

Follow the link above to sign the guest book.

Nick Tripp

I first met Nick Tripp when my son Nicholas was in 7th grade at Indian Springs Middle School.  The school was brand new and the boys athletic teams were getting their bearings and trying to compete against the established schools in the district.  Nick was in 8th grade and was a super athlete helping the Eagles with their pursuit of success.

Nick was one of those polite kids, always with a smile that made you instantly like him.  As I helped the ISMS coaches by making sure the kids jumping the high jump got to their station on time, I would have time to sit and talk with Nick and got to know him pretty well.  When the boys moved to KHS, Nicholas played first JV and then Varsity Baseball with Nick, and at every game Nick would always come over to say hi and talk.  Always with that big smile on his face.

Because there were two Nick’s on the team, Nick became NickTripp…one word, no pause.  Nick was a competitor and played the game of baseball hard, sometimes drawing the ire of the other team.  I remember my son’s freshman year when they were playing JV ball, that the kids from Colleyville had called some of the members of the Keller Team and told them that were going to take NickTripp out.  Nick didn’t let it bother him, he just went out and played the game, maybe with a little more jawing at the other team than usual.  That was Nick, never backing down.

Since most don’t follow high school baseball, you might remember Nick playing football.  He played Linebacker for the Indians and was known for his hard hits and his 54 yard fumble return against Brewer his Senior Year.

Nick left school in the spring of his senior year to work some problems out that he had in his life.  His last high school baseball game was at The Ballpark in Arlington against Plano, the next morning he would leave for two months to return to the team involved in the playoffs.  Nick looked better, had gained some of his weight back and had that bright smile again. 

The last time I saw Nick was at a local restaraunt eating wings, looking great.  Always the polite kid with the Mr. Miller this and that, asking about my Nick and promising to get up to a baseball game.  I ran into Nick’s dad during the elections last year and he let me know that Nick had joined the Marines and his dad was proud.  I told his father to let Nick know that we were proud of him and to tell him to keep his head down when he hit the shit overseas. 

I got a call yesterday from my son asking if I had heard about Nick Tripp, and my first thought was Iraq.  No, my son said that they had found him dead in a hotel room outside of his base in North Carolina.  Details are still coming in, but I will remember Nick Tripp for those times when he had that big smile on his face. 


Nick at the Ballpark in Arlington, February 2006