Creekside aims for unbeaten season in memory of teammate - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Creekside aims for unbeaten season in memory of teammate

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FAIRBURN, Ga. -

It's been an emotional season for the Creekside High School football team. The Seminoles are eyeing a regional title after playing the season with a heavy heart following the loss of a special teammate.

De'Antre Turman died during a scrimmage game in August. Doctors said that Turman died when he fractured vertebrae making a routine tackle.

The team has dedicated its season to the memory of Turman, with the motto of "Do it for Deuce." Turman wore the number 2 on his jersey.

"That Saturday after the game, everybody came in and we folded jerseys and we just sat around and talked, because that's how we felt comfortable," said senior running Dexter Knox.

The team finished its regular season without a loss with a 49-0 defeat of Ola on Thursday.

Creekside's undefeated record is not just a product of steady direction and remarkable skill, but also an incredible strength to retake the field after witnessing tragedy.

"It was kind of hard to step back on the football field a couple days after somebody very close to us just passed away," said senior linebacker Chris Collins.

That courage not only has the team on the brink of something special, but it has helped a family as it mourns.

"It has been hard and I'm still trying to deal with it, but going to games on Friday nights  -- it helps. It helps a lot," said Jermaine Keller, Turman's guardian.

Head coach Olten Downs said the team has focused on its goals since Turman's death.

Turman's story has touched many across the country.  New York head and neck specialist Dr. Patrick Kerr has developed a special collar which would help prevent injuries like the one Turman suffered.  Last weekend, he donated 70 of those collars to Turman's teammates to keep them safe.

Turman was a rising junior. He had already drawn interest from Kentucky, Missouri and Florida State football programs.

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