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Football practice at Raby begins with ‘lock-in’ to focus, escape violence

Following Chicago’s most violent weekend this year with 71 people shot, 12 fatally, Raby coach D’Angelo Dereef held his annual team “lock-in” as part of the team’s first week of football practice.

“As everybody knows, we’re right here in the heart of Garfield Park,” Dereef said. “It is known for a lot of violence, a lot of shootings and a lot of children getting killed.”

This Raby tradition began four years ago. Dereef wanted to take his kids away to camp, similar to what he had experienced growing up as a high school football player in South Carolina. Dereef says the experience of going away is invaluable because it allows the players to dream outside of Chicago, outside of the the West Side.

Al Raby's Marshawn Foster catches a pass in the first day of Practice at Garfield park Monday 08-06-18. Worsom Robinson/For Sun-Times

Raby’s Marshawn Foster catches a pass in the first day of practice at Garfield Park. | Worsom Robinson/For Sun-Times

Going out of town isn’t in Raby’s budget, so Dereef decided to bring the camp to his kids.

It started as a three-day experience and is now an entire week. After getting permission from their guardians, the team walked into Raby on the morning of the first practice of the season. They turned over their phones and set up camp.

Read the rest of the Raby “Lock-in” story here >


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