Family reacts to Fitzgerald football player's death - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Family reacts to Fitzgerald football player's death

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We still don't know the cause of death of 16-year old DJ Searcy who died after a morning practice yesterday. Now, his family remembers the young man who brightened their lives.

The death of 16-year old DJ Searcy hit family members hard. Their rising football star, who was filled with so much love and compassion for others was suddenly taken away. "He had the grades to be able to go to college and we were looking forward to him being that great star," said Wanda Thomas, Aunt.

DJ and the rest of the Fitzgerald High football team were at football camp in Lake City, Florida. After morning practice Tuesday, Searcy was found unresponsive in his cabin.

He was rushed to the hospital and pronounced just before 1 PM. "It is going to be so hard for us to go on without him," said Henrietta Graham, his grandmother.

They are trying to pull together, and find strength during this difficult time. "Our prayers go out to his father and his mother and his siblings and let them know earth has no sorrows that heaven cannot heal," said Thomas.

They want answers into his unexpected death, "It is just a question of what happened because when he left Sunday he was fine," said Graham.

"Why him? He never got into trouble and he never hurt no body," said Kamiah Burnham, a cousin.

In the meantime, the want DJ to be remembered for the amazing young man he was, "Anybody that came into contact with DJ, they would never forget him cause that was just the type of person he was," said Thomas.

"DJ was one who never failed to say I love you," said Graham.

They're hoping DJ's parents and siblings pull through during this difficult time. "I'm gonna keep them in my prayers. He will never be forgotten and I love Michelle and Carlton and I hope and pray God will bring them through it," said Patricia Walker, family friend.

They agree, 16-years is not a long time to live but it's the love and generosity DJ left behind at such a young age that mattered most.

DJ was working this summer for public works in Fitzgerald but he dreamed of one day playing in the NFL.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced for DJ.