Stephanie “Arker” Barker: May 19, 1986 to May 22nd, 2013.
Sometimes, teammates come and go.
Stephanie “Arker” Barker was more than that. So. Much. More.
She was a special mix of heart, compassion, grit, strength, speed and power. And during her five seasons with Brute Squad, her spirit, drive and determination became the heart and soul of the team. On the field, she pushed herself to develop her throws, her cutting, her defense, and by doing so, made all of us better for it.
Off the field, she continued to make the world at large a better place. As a nurse caring for Boston’s homeless population, she worked with some of the city’s sickest and most hopeless, caring for so many during their darkest times. Day after day, showing up with a smile, even after she worked an all night shift and came directly to Sunday morning practice.
And maybe most of all, Stephanie was a ton of fun. She was always one of the loudest in her huddle with her ridiculous snort-laugh, the first one to roll up her sweatpants and pull out a Beyonce dance move.
We lost Stephanie on May 22, 2013. But to her many friends, family and Brute family, her memory is what keeps all of us strong. It’s what keeps us running up and down the stairs at Harvard Stadium. It’s what drives us to practice during 60 mph winds. It’s what keeps us coming back every year and pushing harder and doing the best we can to honor her memory. She gave so much more than she ever had to.
One year after the anniversary of her death, we’ve decided to do something to keep her incredible spirit alive in all of our memories. Stephanie was a talented player and inspired many to get better at the sport they loved. We’ve established a scholarship, Brute Squad in memory of Stephanie Barker, for the National Ultimate Training Camp to allow one female player the opportunity to attend each summer. It’s the least we can do to ensure her spirit continues to inspire young women to learn and grown from the sport she loved so much.