As many have noted, we all lost a brother today. This young man lost his life playing the game that we all love this afternoon in Ohio. Peace and Grace to his family, his team, and the entire Semi-Pro community. Nothing can prepare you for the loss of a teammate under these circumstances, and though it's cliche, it is certainly true that these moments bring perspective to our teams, our leagues and even our athletic careers.
The early reports of the circumstances surrounding his death, it bears mentioning, suggest that the fatal injury may have been sustained when he was hit from the blind side on a punt return. In light of this tragedy and much of the recent news from the NFL, we should very carefully consider how we're playing the game. I am certainly not suggesting that the hit was intended to cause mortal harm or even lasting pain, but it is worth considering the question of whether hits like these are necessary- whether it was a genuine effort to make a key block or- as I've seen (and I'm done myself)- just a chance to lay a big hit on an easy target.
I'm not suggesting that we take the game down a gear or play with any less intensity, but that we remember that the objective is to advance the football or to stop its advance, and everything we do on the field should be in service of those goals, not highlight-reel monster hits on unsuspecting opponents. Those hits, today reminds us, have consequences.
Take a moment today to think of this young man and of the game he loved, and let that memory inspire you to play the game the way it deserves to be played.
Rest In Peace, #58
Yesterday, May 12th, #58 Dave Coleman Jr from the Jay County Panthers lost his life playing the game he loved. Our thoughts and prayers go out not only to his wife, daughters, family and friends, but to his teammates and those in attendance of the game. Each player understands the risk you accept each time you step onto the field of play, and it is the same in any sport, but its events such as the one yesterday that really drive home those risks. David was legally hit on a punt return by a player on the opposing team. He fell to the ground and did not move. Paramedics were called immediately and took David to the hospital where he was pronounced dead due to spinal injury.
The pre-season game that the Panther participated in was not a league sanctioned event, or officiated by our league referees. I can assure you that in the coming weeks before our kickoff weekend June 16th, player safety will be emphasized from the top down. This includes owners and coaching staffs of each team in the league, as well as each of the referees officiating our games this season. It will never be possible to cease all risk involved in the game of football, but our job is to remind our players of these risks and steps to reduce them. At the end of the day, we are all adults, with lives outside of football, that are paying for the opportunity to play the sport that we all love, and then return to our family and friends in good health.
The devastation and grief has been tough for the Panthers as they lost a 4 year veteran member of their squad, as well has his brother who was on the field at the same time as David. They could not have lost a better man who said earlier that day his two loves in life were his family and football. Within such a short time condolences and support has poured in from individuals, teams, and leagues across the nation, each with the same message, “we lost a family member today”. I have been overwhelmed with the response and been left speechless.
June 16th is now the Dave Coleman Jr Kickoff Weekend for the CRFL. We will be asking each team in the Crossroads Football League to take donations for his family to help in their time of need. Also at the 2 minute warning in the 4th quarter, 58 minutes into the game, we will be holding a moment of silence for #58. The CRFL will also be providing all of our players in the league with a helmet sticker in Panthers colors for David. A small token to honor his everlasting commitment to his team, and his sport; and provide each and every player a reminder that we play this game to have fun and to be able to return home to our families and friends.
On Behalf of all the owners, coaches, and players of the Crossroads Football League, I extend our prayers and condolences to the Panthers Organization, the Northwest Ohio Knights Organization, and the friends and family of #58 Dave Coleman Jr.
Crossroads Football League
I offer my condolence to the family of Dave Coleman Jr and the Jay County Panthers on behalf of the Indy Tornados. Let this serve as a reminder that we are not promised tomorrow and that we are truly blessed to play this game “for the love” and to be appreciative to the fact when we walked away from this game unscathed. God bless…
Last Saturday May 12, 2012, linebacker and offensive lineman for the Jay County Panthers, #58 David Coleman Jr, was killed during a pre-season game against the Northwest Ohio Knights in Toledo, Ohio. The official cause of death was not spinal injury as previously reported, but a burst Aorta. David autopsy came back clean and he was in good health is no conditions that may have caused this to happen. The film is still being secured by the league, but coaches from both teams declared the hit to be legal and the referees at the game threw no flag. This tragic accident has left 5 daughters, a wife, a brother, and others with one person missing in their life forever.
The outpouring of thoughts and prayers and condolences has been outright astonishing. Individuals, Teams, and Leagues across the nation and even Canada have expressed their support for both teams, and David’s family.
The Crossroads Football League has purchased memorial #58 helmet stickers with a purple Panther paw behind. Players in the entire league will be wearing them this entire year. Other teams have also expressed interest in wearing the stickers. If your team is interested, please contact the league commissioner John Jackson for purchase information. All proceeds will go directly to the David Colemen Fund. A few teams have already begun plans for fundraisers in order to help Colmen’s famly.
All donations for David’s family can be sent to:
Dave Coleman II Memorial,
First Federal Bank,
P.O. Box 429
Napoleon, OH 43545
Services for Dave Coleman will be Thursday 2pm till 8 pm and Funeral Friday. Location is at
Rodenberger Funeral Home,
1010 west Moreland Avenue,
Napoleon, OH 43545,