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Why Talan Renner played football during the murder investigation

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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) – During his three summers in the dugout, Lake Monsters manager Pete Wilk made countless contacts and left a lasting legacy on both the club and the baseball community here in Vermont. But on Wednesday, the Monsters announced the sad news that Wilk had died after his 15-month battle with glioblastoma. “Yes, it was a big loss,” Monsters general manager CJ Knudsen said. “A great loss, obviously, to our Lake Monsters family, our fans, to Vermont and of course to the entire sport of baseball.” Knudsen worked closely with Wilk throughout his time in Burlington, and on the baseball side his influence was evident. “Those were great years for us,” said Knudsen. “As we restarted 2021, it was a really challenging year for us as we emerged from the COVID crisis. And somehow, Pete managed to lead the team to its first championship since 1996.” Two more trips to the Futures League Championship Series followed…but the relationships Wilk built were far more important. “Yeah, I just loved Pete’s smile, it was contagious,” Knudsen said. “I loved his leadership. I was amazed by his commitment to the team and the players. Make the boys role models.” “Once you got to know him, like when I got there at the end of the 2021 season, he had open arms, welcomed me and made me feel at home,” added Colby Brouillette, Georgia native and BFA graduate, added. Brouillette played all three seasons for the Monsters. Wilk served as manager, and he says Pete's personality combined with his experience made him so effective. “Just his knowledge of the game,” Brouillette said. “Compared to his connection with the young college players his age, it's that combination that sets him apart.” Even after his cancer diagnosis, Wilk went out of his way to coach the team in the second half of last summer, with the team hiring him with a special “Dig in for Pete” evening. “He never gave up,” Knudsen said. “He was optimistic literally until the end. He was a true fighter and truly a true champion.” Knudsen describes the overwhelming support from the league, the Monsters family and the entire community as remarkable. “Pete was a true leader,” he said. “On the field, off the field. And the reaction of our fan base: on social media to emails and phone calls that we receive. “Everyone is really heartbroken.” And this team has one special goal in mind: to honor Pete this summer. “If there’s one thing we’re going to try to do this year, it’s to win for Wilk.”