It was one of our early seasons here at Greenwood and we knew immediately that this group of 2005 Senior boys were special. There was only 18 of them in the Senior class, including one special ed kid named Brandon.
Brandon loved Greenwood football, he worked hard all year around to be a part of this team, even though he never played. He did go in for a couple plays in a game where we were winning by 3 or 4 touch downs and just got smoked by the other team. Of course, his team mates were cheering him on and telling him to get up and try again. Next play, again he got laid out, so that was about the end of his playing time as he was telling the coaches he was good and didn’t need to go in again, but he still was there working hard in practice and being their biggest fan. Be a better story if I could tell you that he ran the ball in for a touch down, but he was still as happy as could be with just being a part of the team.
His mother is as crazy as they come and fits the stereotypical Arkansan from the backwoods. This group of seniors have gone on to become Razorback football player, doctor, business men, entrepreneurs, family men, and have mostly moved away.
Brandon went to work at a local company. He knew something was wrong so drove himself to the ER about 4 weeks ago. They diagnosed him with stage 4 testicular cancer and was in a coma within a week and never came out of it. By accident, our principal was at the hospital’s ICU and saw his mother there and this is how we found out. He passed away quietly at the hospital with just his mother at his side and a few visitors in and out like Coach and the Principal.
Coach brought his mother his jersey for him to wear and a football helmet signed by all the current players which she placed it in the casket with him. She wanted some football players to be pallbearers so Coach called a couple of the his Senior classmates to see if they might be able to travel in for the Friday afternoon service. 15 of his 17 classmates from the 2005 football team showed up.
His mother wanted Brandon to be buried in the cemetery closest to the football field. You will find his plot in the very corner squeezed in facing the football field covered with flowers. I imagine he has a big smile on his face wearing his Bulldog jersey with one hand on his helmet. Bulldog pride never dies……