MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – F3 Grand Strand, a workout group Officer Jacob Hancher used to train with, honored the fallen Myrtle Beach Police Officer Saturday morning near the Market Common.
A special workout brought people together before sunrise to remember and honor one of their own.
“His nickname was ‘Hightower,” Elton Oakley, Officer Hancher’s neighbor, and friend who introduced him to F3 Grand Strand said.
Early Saturday, every sprint, sit up, and sweat was dedicated to Officer Hancher.
“When he first started working out with us, he did not like to run at all. My forte was running, so I would always encourage him and push him along,” Oakley said.
Elton Oakley was neighbors with Officer Hancher and recruited him to join the F3 workout group about six years ago.
“Sometimes I’d be running through the neighborhood, and he would be getting off his shift. I would see his truck coming in the neighborhood because he worked that graveyard shift and just the commitment to the community,” Oakley said.
Oakley said Officer Hancher was a true friend, one who was always there for you. Two of Officer Hancher’s favorite bible verses were recited numerous times throughout Saturday’s workout and displayed on a banner remembering him.
“But the LORD is with me like a mighty warrior” -Jeremiah 20:11
“O Lord, grant us success” -Psalm 1:18:25
F3 is a group focused on fitness, fellowship, and faith. Tim Akerland has put in reps over the years alongside Officer Hancher, and said Hancher was apart of the “great brotherhood.”
“So, to see one of us go down like this, at 23 years old, it’s terrible,” Akerland said.
“Jacob Hancher — Twenty three— Hightower” was shouted several times as honored a lost team member.
Twenty-three was the number of workout reps, the number of seconds paused for moments of silence, and the time how long they would hold a position, all to honor the age of Officer Hancher in which he lost his life too soon.
“He was just sweet, a sweet boy, just wan everyday American boy,” Akerland said.
Each F3 workout location has a shovel flag planted in which symbolizes the group’s freedom to gather.
“I remember when we were making the shovel flags. He was always texting me saying, ‘hey do you need any help with anything extra,’ after all the other guys were gone. He was the guy that would come and do the extra credit work,” Oakley said,
At the bottom of each shovel-flag is ‘BOHH,’ the initials of group member’s nicknames, who made the flags years ago. One of the ‘H’s’ stands for ‘Hightower.’
“I’m going to miss him,” Akerland said.
“He was always there for everybody, just an awesome guy,” Oakley said.