“Her teammates are devastated,” Gault said.
“Some of them were vacationing together at Hilton Head, N.C., and they are flying back. That is what she meant to them.”
Chris Stumpf of Davidsville, UPJ chief of staff, remembered his former classmate and friend.
“She was an excellent student and a really genuinely nice person,” he said. “She was incredibly driven and worked very hard at athletics and academics.”
Her former coach recalled an incident in Billingsley’s senior year that exemplified her determined spirit.
While visiting her family during Christmas, the star player was in a traffic accident and struck her face on the steering wheel.
“Her face was unbelievable,” Gault said.
“But she had clearance from a doctor and wanted to play.”
The injuries were so severe that one of her teammates got sick when she saw Billingsley.
But Billingsley refused to be sidelined.
“I am playing,” she told her coach. “You can mask me, but I’m not missing a game.”
Gault said the news of the tragedy was hard to believe.
“We lost a good one,” she said. “We’re going to miss her.”