There were very few cheers, high fives or other signs of emotion during Simeon’s 44-0 win over Foreman Friday at Gately Stadium.
The entire team was in a very somber mood after learning earlier in the day of the tragic death of former All City defensive back Demarius Reed.
Simeon coach Dante Culbreath wore dark shades to cover his eyes, so his players would not see how emotional he was.
“I give a lot of credit to the coaches who know what I was going through,” said Culbreath. “It’s the hardest thing I have had to deal with in my life so far. I am going to miss those game time text messages from him.”
Culbreath said his spirits, along with the team’s, got a major boost from Reed’s younger brother, Demani, a freshman on the team.
“We moved him up after the sophomore season was over and this was to be his first varsity game,” said Culbreath. ”I told him that I fully understand if he did not feel up to playing. The young man looked me in my face and told me he had to do it for his brother. When I heard that I pulled myself together and was able to get going and out of the deep emotional state I was in for a minute.”
Demani left immediately after the game with his father Carl and other family members. He said his brother was his hero.
“He was always there for me,” said Reed. “I knew if I followed his path, I was going to be ok.”
Reed’s father said it’s hard to believe his son is gone.
“Demarius was my first born of my six children,” said Reed. “I worried about my kids growing up in the Chi, but I kind of focus more on the younger ones that are here in the city because I was so certain he was safe and in a good place, in college, playing ball on a campus environment outside of Chicago. I never ever expected something like this to happen to my son.”
Former Simeon Hall of Fame head coach, Jessie Chick, who coached Reed for three years before stepping down, said Reed was a special person.
“He worked to become a better person, he worked hard to become a better player and was well on his way” said Chick. ” We will just have to continue to carry on his legacy.”
Darnell Cockrell scored two touchdowns, one on a 34-yard pass from Christian Plummer, the other a 68 yard fumble return. He also caught a 38-yard pass from Plummer that set up a one yard touchdown run by Plummer.
Dion Earls scored on a one -ard run and Jordan Jackson scored from nine yards out. Simeon led 44-0 at half time. Miguel Harrell led the Simeon defense with two sacks and eight tackles.