The West Linn Lions and fans came to Canby for their first league showdown this week — but there was more than basketball on their minds.
They also wanted to honor a friend and former competitor, 16-year-old Matthew Dewar, a student-athlete for Canby and Country Christian who was killed in a fatal crash on South Mulino Road in November.
With Matthew’s parents, David and Paige, and three brothers in attendance, the West Linn boys and girls basketball teams arrived wearing T-shirts bearing the teen’s name and four things he had written about in a school essay last fall titled “What Matters Most to Me”: faith, family, friends and basketball.
West Linn girls basketball coach Brooke Allen Cates is a teacher at Baker Prairie Middle School and one of Matthew’s previous teachers. She’s also a neighbor of the Dewar family.
She stopped by their house on Saturday to drop off some extra shirts ahead of Tuesday’s game.
“I was blessed to have Matthew in class,” she told the Current in an email. “He had an incredible faith which led to many friends; he was a hard worker and took pride in always giving his best effort, and he LOVED SPORTS. These are character traits that I loved sharing with my athletes.”
The family was also well-known to many West Linn athletes through David Dewar’s work as a Canby chiropractor who specializes in sports chiropractic and care.
“A lot of our athletes have gone to Dr. Dewar over the years so when tragedy hit the Dewar family, it was difficult for both communities,” she said. “I shared this pain with my team when it happened. I think everyone felt the loss of such an incredible young man.”
Cates brought up the idea of honoring Matthew at Tuesday’s double-header, and boys head basketball coach Eric Viuhkola was “immediately on board.”
“It was a great opportunity for two basketball communities to remember Matthew Dewar and the exceptional young man he was,” Cates said.
“Dr. Dewar has helped a lot of our former players and athletes here at West Linn High School,” Viuhkola said. “He has a legendary status of being kind of a miracle worker with different injuries. He has a great reputation with our players and our community.
“When we heard about Matthew’s accident, we were all heartbroken,” he continued. “As a parent, that’s your worst nightmare. I can’t imagine the pain that they are still going through.”
The gesture was profoundly felt by the Dewar family, who said it made them feel “so loved.”
“We felt so loved last night as we walked into the gym and saw all those T-shirts with Matthew’s name on them,” Paige Dewar wrote on Facebook the next day. “It’s been so overwhelmingly beautiful how far Matthew’s love has reached and touched so many people. It’s awesome to see how people honor him! It really does help us walk through this devastating time.”
Help us build a sustainable news organization to serve Canby for generations to come! Let us know if you can support our efforts to expand our operations and keep all of our content paywall-free. #SwimWithTheCurrent!