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Henrico football team pushes forward with injured teammate as inspiration

Updated: Mar. 16, 2021 at 12:47 AM EDT
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - The Henrico football team took the field for practice on Monday, 72 hours after Warriors’ senior Samar Lemons suffered a neck fracture during a game against Douglas Freeman last Friday night.

“I had to review the film because I wanted to make sure that I saw what I thought I saw. The collision wasn’t violent at all,” said Henrico head coach Gerald Glasco. “It was a clean play.”

“He’s a jokester, really, so I thought he’d get up, like ‘oh, I just knocked myself out. Let’s go get this win, fellas,’” smiled Henrico senior lineman Pfeniox Brown.

Lemons is currently in the hospital, unable to walk and with no feeling in his arms or legs. It’s a tough reality for the players and coaches who have grown to know the senior and who have played beside him as teammates.

“He was smiling, laughing. He said ‘Coach, my neck hurts, can’t feel my legs,” Glasco recalled. “It’s just tough... it’s tough.”

As Henrico looks to move forward, players and staff are doing their best to stay positive, as well as sending positive thoughts and prayers to their fallen teammate and his family. Unfortunately, none of them are able to visit Lemons, as the pandemic prohibits hospital visitors. Glasco and his assistants even volunteered to sit in the room with Samar so his parents could take a break, but were unable to do so.

“That’s the hard part right now- not being able to put your eyes on what you would consider your son when they’re out here,” the head coach said. “I’m sure every head coach feels the same way. We treat them like they’re ours because they are.”

Similar to the way football teams rally around each other, the community is rallying around the Warriors. A GoFundMe page that was created late Sunday night had raised more than $35,000 as of Monday evening.

“It’s great to see the whole Richmond community come together as one,” Brown said. “When one of your brothers falls down, somebody has to pick up the slack.”

“I’ve gotten texts and calls from principals, coaches in the area,” noted Glasco. It’s so much bigger than just football.”

Samar’s family is pushing positivity. “We believe he will walk again and need YOU to believe it too” is written as part of the GoFundMe page. As for the Warriors, they’re right there with him on that journey, as they forge ahead for their teammate.

“We’re just going 17 Strong for the rest of the season,” Brown said.

“Everyday he wants to get better, so I think everyday we all should want to get better,” Glasco added.

Henrico will host Hermitage on Friday at 7:00 PM.

To learn more about how you can help Samar Lemons and his family, visit here. For more about Samar’s story, click here.

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