CORNELIUS, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — “Live life to the fullest.”
That’s the message Hough High head football coach Matthew Jenkins told his players for weeks, but it hit home after a former player, Devin Chandler, was tragically shot and killed.
“You’re not guaranteed tomorrow, in any respect at all, and that’s kind of been the message, and we’ve kind of gone with that,” Jenkins said.
Chandler and two other University of Virginia football players were killed on Sunday after police said a former player opened fire on a bus returning from a field trip.
“Freshman year, our starting quarterback went down, and Devin was one of the first guys to come up to me and said, ‘hey man, you got this; I believe in you… let’s go out and rock out,'” said Tad Hudson, his former teammate.
The Hough High community is still mourning the death of former husky Devin Chandler.
Hudson said chandler was the definition of a great teammate and person.
“I don’t know if it’s fully set in yet; it’s just kind of crazy; I haven’t had anyone that close to me die yet… but he was a brother, and we fought,” Hudson said. “We fought hard on the same team together, and it’s tough, but he’s in a better place now; God’s got him.”
As the Huskies headed for their second-round playoff game against East Forsyth, they left with a little piece of Chandler; on the back of their helmets sits a decal in his honor.
Jenkins said he wanted to find a way to channel Chandler’s spirit, energy, and legacy.
“We talked about what he meant to our program and who he was,” Jenkins said. “More than anything else, we’ve talked about this program for the last couple of weeks. About living life to 100%, and so many young people are afraid to do it because of failure and other things, and I don’t want them to have regrets in life.”
Jenkins said he knows that Chandler lived his best life to the fullest every day.
Johnson C. Smith University students also held a vigil today to honor all three players killed.