High School Sports

Gibault to retire Zac Epplin’s No. 9 on Saturday

Zac Epplin, the former Gibault High boys soccer player who died of bone cancer at age 19 on July 1, will have his No. 9 retired Saturday in a ceremony at Oerter Park in Columbia.

The 10-minute ceremony will be held about 6:15 p.m., in between the junior varsity and varsity games between the Hawks and Belleville West.

“Most of his teammates are going to be able to make it back into town, and they’re going to present his jerseys to the Epplin family,” Gibault coach Matt Reeb said. “We have the jerseys framed, and one of them will go to the Epplin family and the other will hang at school with a little write-up about Zac and his life and his story.”

Epplin’s parents, Doug and Beverly, will be among those representing the family.

Epplin was a senior on the Gibault team that won the Class 1A state tournament in 2013 in Normal. Epplin did not play in the tournament since he was being treated for cancer, but he was in uniform on the sidelines for the victories over Chicago F.W. Parker and Herscher.

“We’re pleased that we get to honor him in this way,” Reeb said.

Contact reporter David Wilhelm at dwilhelm@bnd.com or 618-239-2665. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidMWilhelm.