PCA mourning death of beloved coach

EVANS CO., GA (WTOC) - A beloved football and golf coach at Bellville's Pinewood Christian Academy will be laid to rest Tuesday.

Chuck Sumner died in a car wreck on his way to the school's golf tournament in Vidalia Saturday morning. The school's headmaster is opening up about the loss of a friend and a mentor.

The headmaster describes that small school as one big family. Many are shocked. Everyone's heart hurts as they mourn a member of that family's death.

Underneath the Friday Night Lights in Bellville on Pinewood Christian's field, a familiar face was behind almost every one of the team's touchdowns: offensive coordinator Chuck Sumner.

"What he meant to us can't be put into words. Because he meant so much to us in so many different ways. He was a tremendous coach," said PCA Headmaster Chip Hill.

Sumner's truck ended up in a field along Highway 152 in Toombs County.  Coach - as he's called - died at the scene.

"From that point early Saturday morning to now has been a lot of heartache. A lot of grieving," said Hill.

Sumner's golfers all signed a putter for his family. The school's headmaster hopes to soon set up a scholarship in his honor.

It's too early for many of the details. The here and now is spent mending and moving forward.

"To me, what I'm going to miss the most about him is his humor, his personality. When you see him coming, you knew it was going to be something funny. You knew he was going to have something to brighten your day," Hill said.

He wasn't just a coach. Also, a humorous and inspiring science teacher to 7th and 8th graders at the school. That role will be just as tough to fill.

"He's just invaluable. The kids love him because he makes the content come alive," Hill said.

A quick search on Facebook turns up loads of posts remembering Coach Sumner. One calling him a wonderful and hilarious person. Another saying the world lost a heck of a coach and a great man.

Proving the impact of his teaching, a post lifting prayers for the entire PCA family.

Hill says the school will lean on their friendships, family bond, and faith through this trying time.

"God had a plan. We can't answer the questions. We all have questions why. It's not for us to question, he said.

Sumner's funeral is Tuesday at 2 p.m. at Soperton United Methodist Church. The school's coaching staff, golf team, and the football team will be honorary pallbearers.

Copyright 2017 WTOC. All rights reserved.