On Aug. 16, the Seminoles met Banneker for what was supposed to be just another scrimmage across the state but tragedy struck when Creekside junior cornerback De’Antre Turman broke his neck while tackling an opponent and was pronounced dead at Grady Memorial Hospital.
“It was a fundamental tackle,” Turman’s IDareU coach Glenn Ford said. “His head was up. It was a clean tackle. He went down. You know, only God knows what happened.”
Last Saturday, the 16-year-old Turman’s memorial service was held at Word of Faith Family Worship Cathedral in Austell.
“It’s been difficult to say the least right now,” Langston Hughes coach Willie Cannon said. “For the simple fact that a lot of my kids played with this kid in Little League and we have a personal connection with them.
“I have coach [Johnny] White coaching with me now who used to coach at Creekside,” Cannon said. “This was one of his kids who used to come over and work out with me over the summer.”
According to Cannon, there will be some balloons released into the air before kickoff. The Panthers will also have stickers on their helmets, reading “Tre Tre” with the number 2.
“It’s been difficult but we’re trying to pull together as a family, letting each other know that he didn’t die in vain,” Cannon said. “He did nothing wrong and that is what I continue to reiterate to my kids. It wasn’t an illegal hit or anything. It was just his calling home.”
Last year, Langston Hughes defeated Creekside 26-14 so the Seminoles will have a little more motivation to make this emotional evening a successful one.
Once the competition starts, there should be some exciting plays on both sides of the ball for both teams with Creekside twins Elliott and Evan Berry in action and defensive end DeAndre Walker for Langston Hughes.