Americus-Sumter High football team honors fallen player - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Americus-Sumter High football team honors fallen player

The honor came after the player lost his life in a drowning incident (Source: WALB) The honor came after the player lost his life in a drowning incident (Source: WALB)
Shirts were sold for donations (Source: WALB) Shirts were sold for donations (Source: WALB)
Eric Finch, family friend (Source: WALB) Eric Finch, family friend (Source: WALB)
Rusty Whaley (Source: WALB) Rusty Whaley (Source: WALB)
AMERICUS, GA (WALB) -

Balloons were released to honor an Americus-Sumter High School student who drowned last weekend.

Jamorrian Johnson played on the Panthers football team.

Friday night, Johnson's teammates took the field for the first time without him.

As seniors walk in front of a cheering crowd, they are celebrating the future.

This time around, those in the stadium only had the past to remember a beloved player.

"I don't even really think we've sat down and understood how devastating it is," Rusty Whaley, a board member of the Touchdown Club, said. 

17-year-old Linebacker Jamorrian Johnson died in an accidental drowning last weekend.

His number, 25, was worn proudly in every corner of the crowd at Friday's game.

Touchdown Club members and friends were selling shirts to raise money to help support his family.

"Them guys that have to really experience this and go through this. Its just too much. So, we ask the community to come out and give their support because this is something they will have to live with for a lifetime," family friend Eric Finch said. 

So far, the group has raised at least $2,500.

Whaley said in addition to helping the family, the community is making sure his classmates can heal properly.

"He would want them to get after it tonight. Give it everything they got. Win, lose or draw. Give it everything they got," Whaley said. 

Sharing in the pain, his football buddies each grabbed a balloon while looking right at the Johnson family as they released it into the sky -- letting go of all that is physical, but cementing a memory that will last a lifetime.

Organizers said in addition to the T-shirt sales, donors came forward to help the family.

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