Denham Springs High football takes field for first time since teammate's death
DENHAM SPRINGS - Members of the Denham Springs High School football team charged onto the field Thursday night to an electric crowd, marking its first scrimmage of the 2020 season, but with a noticeable absence.
"Football is everything to this community," Eddie Rushing said, a parent of two football players.
After a summer of 'will they or won't they play,' the team taking the field was a welcome sight for students and players alike.
"To see them be able to play is awesome," Rushing said. "This season we're playing for something greater than ourselves."
That 'something greater' is Yellow Jackets' offensive lineman Remy Hidalgo. Less than a week after his death, his memory enveloped the stadium. A handmade plaque remembering number 77 was displayed at the entrance. On the sideline, Hidalgo's jersey occupied its own chair.
Thursday night's matchup with Woodlawn may have just been a scrimmage, but for Remy's teammates, it marked the first chance to play for their fallen teammate, a request his parents made to the team earlier this week.
"Every down, every play, every snap, every water break, every sweat off the brow is we're playing for Remy," Rushing said.
Rushing and several other parents who are part of the Dads of Denham tailgating group honored Hidalgo with 'Fly high 77' wristbands and 'we play for 77' t-shirts. Dozens more of those shirts filled the stands. Remy's parents, both in attendance, wearing them as well.
Rushing says as the season begins, it's a time to celebrate and honor Hidalgo.
"We're not mourning at this point," Rushing said. "We're excited and we know that he's with us. We're ready to fight and we're ready to play."
Fighting and play, the yellow jackets did just that, getting the first taste of fall football with a guardian angel.
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