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Georgia High School Football Player Who Died Before Championship Game Honored on the Field

A Georgia high school student-athlete who was supposed to be on the field with his teammates in Monday night’s state championship game was posthumously honored following the devastating news of his passing.

Meriwether High School football player Brandon Smith died Sunday night in an incident that has left the community with more questions than answers.

The 17-year-old defensive lineman was scheduled to travel 75 miles north from Meriwether County to Atlanta to compete for a state championship title against the Bowdon High Red Devils.

Smith was found dead in a residential area along 3rd Avenue and 3rd Street, according to the Meriwether County Sheriff’s Office. In a letter to parents, Meriwether High School said the circumstances are “still being investigated and will be shared publicly by local authorities.” Manchester police told Atlanta News First foul play is suspected. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is leading the case.

During Monday night’s game at Mercedes Benz Stadium, captains from both teams walked side by side to center field — carrying with them Smith’s number 52 jersey.

“We going do it for Brandon tonight. Number 52. We going do it for Brandon,” one fan said, emotionally.
It’s taken 26 years for Manchester High School to get back to the championship — A game his loved ones said he wouldn’t want to miss.

“It’s a rough time you know. It happened so unexpectedly and we’re such a close team. Our team has been close together. They‘re all feeling bad,” MHS teacher Doug Maddix said.

“He’s an excellent student and everybody liked him, he’d often talk to the teachers and they liked him a lot too,” another teacher said.
“It was sad because he was a real sweet kid and he was very well-mannered,” a mom from the team who knew Smith told Atlanta News First.

And even though number 52 wasn’t able to play, fans in the stands felt his spirit on the sidelines. The final score in Monday’s Division 1-A State Football Championship: 28 Bowdon-27 Manchester.

Source: Atlantanewsfirst