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Scholarship, award will remember Stafford man
Parents search for a way to honor their son

 Aaron Shacklette (shown on a mission trip in Jamaica) loved lacrosse. A scholarship pays tribute to the young man, who died last year after a wreck.
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Date published: 2/16/2010

AARON Shacklette loved life, people and lacrosse. And while his life was cut short at the age of 19, his legacy of friendship and enthusiasm for lacrosse will live on in a scholarship and award to honor him.

Shacklette, a well-known and much-loved 2008 graduate of Stafford High School, died in May from injuries sustained in a car accident while on his way home from college.

His parents, Rick and Cynthia Shacklette, have established the Aaron M. Shacklette ShackLax Memorial Scholarship Fund not only to honor their son, but to further the sport he loved so much. The scholarship, to be administered through the Community Foundation of the Rappahannock River Region, will be open to any lacrosse player from the counties of Stafford, Spotsylvania, King George and Caroline, as well as the city of Fredericksburg. Anyone who wants to honor Aaron or is interested in promoting the sport of lacrosse can contribute to the fund.

Rick Shacklette says Aaron first picked up a lacrosse stick during his freshman year of high school. He chuckles when he remembers how Aaron walked around practicing "cradling."

"He used to walk around doing the thing they do with the stick, he broke a picture on the wall in the house here," he says.

Aaron kept practicing until he got to be pretty good. Shacklette says Aaron was never a big star but simply loved the game and the brotherhood he felt with all lacrosse players, along with his own teammates.

Aaron's dad says he had friends on practically every team throughout the Commonwealth District and beyond. He played on the off-season tournament squad from Mountain View and in year-round Bones Leagues.

Aaron was enthusiastic about trying to grow the sport of lacrosse in the Stafford area. He used to tell his dad, "By my senior year, they're going to pack the stands, like at football games."

"Of course, it didn't happen," said Shacklette. "Lacrosse is not quite here yet. You go to Albe-marle and there's a lot of turnout. Parents tailgate. I've always felt like there should be something to encourage the lacrosse kids like the football kids."


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