KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Two opposing high school football teams honored a player who died in a car crash on Friday. Dakota Blevins, 16, was the quarterback for Hancock County High School.
It was a night to put aside differences between the teams, Concord Christian School and Hancock County High School, and focus on a fellow football player and teenager who was killed. It was especially tough for Dakota Blevins’ family, but they said what these kids did is helping them heal.
As Hancock County High School players carried a flag to remember their quarterback, you could hear applause from fans of both teams.
“Knowing that I’m never going to see him on the field again is really tough,” said Phil Blevins, Dakota’s dad.
Blevins is also the head coach for the team. Dakota’s mother and little brother were also there, wearing his number 10.
“Obviously, it goes far beyond football tonight. Just trying to help a grieving team and community as best we can,” said Rob Murphy, Concord Christian School athletic director.
Both teams decided to honor Dakota by putting his number on their helmets while the cheerleaders had it on their faces. There was even a large banner with his name.
“I hope it shows that we care about them, honestly. That’s all we can do right now is just demonstrate that we care and we’re willing to help,” said Murphy.
While this won’t bring Blevins back, his dad said it’s helping him cope with the loss.
“I miss my son dearly, but the outpouring of love from our community is overwhelming. It just demonstrates what kind of character and what kind of young man Dakota was,” said Blevins.
After the game, both teams prayed in the center of the football field. On top of this, Hancock County High School also won the game 46-8.
Concord Christian School is also donating about $1,000 to Hancock County High School. Concord Christian’s Director of Schools said the money will go toward grief counseling for students and staff in Hancock County.