The healing process has begun for the Berkeley High School football team, which lost teammate D.J. Weathers, who was killed in a single-car crash Saturday afternoon, less than 24 hours after he scored two touchdowns in Friday's 40-14 victory over Stratford.
The team met Monday morning and heard Weathers' father, Thomas Weathers, and grandfather, Clarence Weathers, talk about how life continues despite the tragic death.
"They asked me if they could speak to the team," Berkeley coach Jerry Brown said. "They were very concerned about the players. They told the kids they have to be courageous. His father and grandfather looked the players in the eyes and told them to be strong."
Berkeley visits Summerville on Friday at 7:30 p.m., and the hard part comes the next day when family, friends and teammates pay their final respects. The funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at the school.
At approximately 3 p.m. Saturday, the younger Weathers was traveling west on Black Tom Road near Moncks Corner when the sedan he was driving left the roadway and hit a utility pole, said Bill Salisbury, chief deputy coroner for Berkeley County. Weathers was pinned in the vehicle. He died at the scene from head and body trauma, Salisbury said.
The team met Saturday at St. James Church and again on Monday. Coach Brown was pleased with the way the players reacted to the tragedy.
"The main thing is we have to stick together," Brown told his players. "Don't become isolated, because that is the first thing that can cause depression. The kids have to stay busy. An idle mind is the devil's workshop.
"After the meeting, there was a feeling of peace," Brown said. "But that doesn't mean the players and staff aren't hurting. We just have to feel the comfort of God we felt after Friday night's win. He's still there to comfort us."
The Stags will pay tribute to Weathers by wearing two stickers on their helmets. One will have his initials on it, and the other will have his jersey number: 5. The team will keep his game jersey on the sideline at every game this season.
Coaches or their representatives should call in results of games as quickly as possible to ensure they appear in the next day's edition. The numbers to call in game reports are 937-5586 or (800) 209-2609. Results can be e-mailed to email@example.com
Also, football statistics will run on Fridays. Statistics must be called in by Wednesday at 937-5592 or by fax at 937-5579.
Finally, nominations for football players of the week must be made by noon Monday. Call 937-5592.
Reach Philip M. Bowman at firstname.lastname@example.org.