Green Cove Springs, FL

Clay High baseball team honors former teacher Claire McCool

Tony Salazar

The Clay High Blue Devils wore pink in their 1-0 win over the Nease Panthers Wednesday night in honor of former Clay High teacher Claire McCool.

McCool tragically passed away from breast cancer in November 2017. McCool was close with head coach Josh Persinger because she taught him when he was a student and they worked together in the math department when he became a teacher.

“She was my teacher and when I started teaching she really took me under her wing at the time,” said Persinger.

Persinger has dedicated one game of the season each year since her passing to honor McCool and her scholarship fund. The team sold $15 McCool shirts, with all the proceeds going toward the Mrs. McCool Scholarship Foundation. McCool’s family also got to be on the field to be recognized and her grandson Andrew got to throw out the first pitch.

McCool was Clay High royalty over her 20 years teaching at the school until her retirement in 2016. One of the students she taught at Clay High over the years was Olympic swimmer Caeleb Dressel. Dressel had a special connection with McCool and would call her “Mama” like many other students. After McCool passed away, McCool's husband, Mike McCool, gave Dressel one of her workout bandanas and he has kept it by his side ever since.

Even though none of the current players on the roster ever had her as a teacher, the McCool Game ensures that her legacy at Clay High lasts forever.
Photo by2016 Clay High School Yearbook

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I am a graduate of the University of North Florida with a major in communication with a focus in journalism and a minor in sports management.

Green Cove Springs, FL

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