As a former high school football player myself, I have never been affected by the death of a teammate and being tasked with honoring a final wish. The Coffee County High School football team did exactly that after a teammate lost his battle to cancer.
Douglas, Georgia native Malik Sparkman passed away last week after a year-long struggle with kidney cancer. His Trojan teammates then did exactly what he asked of them in his final days. According to WSB TV, Sparkman told his teammates that he wanted to go through the tunnel with them one last time.
Last Wednesday, the team carried Sparkman’s coffin through the tunnel and across the Coffee County football field in front of a crowd of more than 500 family and friends. Jovita Moore with WSB Channel 2 talked with Sparkman’s girlfriend Tia Williams.
“He always said he wasn’t ever gonna give up and God has him. He was a fighter. They’re hanging in there as a team. It brought their team closer. They’re strong. They did take it hard at the funeral, but they know he’s not suffering anymore.”
Sparkman. a standout linebacker at the high school, would have graduated next year and was already being recruited by Florida State. The team announced that they would come up with a way to honor the team in the next football season.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to Coffee County Ga. Police Scanner