Brookhaven H.S. mourns loss of two football players - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Brookhaven H.S. mourns loss of two football players

Javonta Dickey and Shaquan Richardson (Source: Facebook) Javonta Dickey and Shaquan Richardson (Source: Facebook)
BROOKHAVEN, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The loss of two high school students is still being felt within the walls of Brookhaven High School.

Friday night's homecoming game against South Jones took a much more somber tone as a community copes with the tragedy.

Shaquan Richardson and Jevanta Dickey died earlier this week in a car crash.

School officials decided to continue on with Friday night's homecoming festivities, making sure both Richardson and Dickey were remembered all along the way.

Forever a Panther. We are Ole Brook.

Much of Brookhaven High School's student body wore stickers that said that Friday night during the school's homecoming game.

Underneath, the numbers of Shaquan Richardson and Jevonta Dickey served as a symbolic reminder to the grief weighing on so many minds.

Richardson and Dickey died earlier this week in a car crash.

"The hardest part for me was telling my son, who was their classmate, that 'your classmate passed.' That was tough," said Nikkitta Holloway, parent of a Brookhaven student.

In the hours following the news, the Brookhaven School District brought in counselors to help students cope with the tragedy.

"It's a great, great loss. Shaquan and Jevonta, they were part of a family. They were close to the students. They were close to their teachers. They were the kind of students that you'd want your children to grow up around," added Ben Cox, Brookhaven School District Superintendent. 

So at Friday's homecoming game, officials and students decided that the best way to honor Richardson and Dickey was through subtle visual touches: the athletes' numbers in the endzone, ribbons with the students' numbers in their hair, and of course, those stickers.

Superintendent Cox said that's just a reflection of the impact Richardson and Dickey had on so many on and off the field.

"Hearts will be heavy tonight. The players feel like they need to play this game. The coach feels like he needs to play this game, and we believe these young men would want them to play this game tonight," Cox said.

Some say Tuesday night's fatal car crash also caused a bit of a rift between parents of the students who died and parents of 18-year-old Charles Acy, who's charged in the accident.

But, Nikkitta Holloway says it shouldn't be like that.

"We've been walking through the grieving process. And we told them, also consider Chaz's family, because they're hurting. Everybody's hurting," Holloway added.

Charles Acy was denied bond in his initial appearance before a judge.

The funeral for Richardson and Dickey will be held in Brookhaven Saturday at the Alexander Junior High Auditorium at 11 a.m.

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