Lely’s Dehvohn Payne and Golden Gate’s Janelle Sansion, who died in an auto accident on Sunday, will be remembered at Friday’s football game at Lely.
In the midst of Homecoming celebrations, there will be a moment of silence around 7:15 p.m. before the game begins in honor of the teenagers.
The football players will wear Payne’s initials, “DP” on their helmets for the remainder of the season. They will be on the opposite side from where “EP” is worn in remembrance of Ereck Plancher, former star Lely football player who died in 2008 at the end of football conditioning drills at Central Florida University.
In remarks by coaches, Payne, a sophomore, apparently had a difficult freshman year, but football played a part in helping him become a better student-athlete. He was a member of the junior varsity team.
Here are their written remarks by e-mail.
David Miller, head football coach
“Dehvohn really had changed his life for the better. He was impacted by the football program and he also impacted many of the players within the program. He really was becoming a better person. This is a tragic loss for the program and the school.”
Brian Johnessee, assistant head coach
“Dehvohn was a kid who had finally gotten it! He had turned the corner and I think that he was positively impacted by the Lely coaching staff and the players on the team. His life was cut short by this tragic accident, and it is a shame because he never reached his full potential. My thoughts and prayers go out to his mother and the rest of his family as they deal with what seems to be an impossible and tragic accident.”
Vince Turner, head JV coach
“I’m not sure how important the game of football was to Dehvohn, but what I am sure of is that Dehvohn truly loved this team and this family.
“This year his JV teammates are dedicating the season to Dehvohn Payne and his family.”
Stavros Giarimoustas, defensive coordinator
”Dehvohn loved this game, and loved his teammates. He was always in a good mood and took advantage of each day as best he could.”
Buddy Quarles, outside linebackers coach
“As an outside linebacker, our core took him under their wings during individual drills. I told him he could do whatever he put his mind to and he said, ‘I know I can coach.’ I will always remember this moment and the Lely Trojans patting him on the back. We will miss him and his smile.”
Joe Hausauer, freshman offensive coordinator
“If Dehvohn had problems a year ago I would have never guessed it. I knew him as an energetic young man with a quick to smile. I had the opportunity to get to know him during summer conditioning and two-a-day drills. Dehvohn rode his bike to practice every day during the summer from the (Golden Gate) Estates. I didn’t know how far that was until I gave him a ride home after practice one day. It took me almost a half hour to get to the end of the gravel road where he lived. When I asked him about it, he smiled and quipped it wasn’t so far because he took a short cut on his bike. On another occasion, when I was taking Dehvohn and a carload of players home, everyone was complaining how hungry they were so we diverted to CiCi’s for something to eat. The table conversation was primarily centered on each player’s faith and joking about who had the least amount of food in the refrigerator at home.
It was as moving as it was hilarious. It was moving because Dehvohn was so serious about his faith. It was hilarious because Dehvohn was laughing so hard about how little food there was in the house that day and that was the reason he was eating so much. Dehvohn was devoted to his mother, his faith and he loved football. He will be missed.”
Fritz Jacques, safeties coach
“As a football player and a student Dehvohn did the right things. Did his best and treated others as he wanted to be treated. We Love you D.P., from your Lely family.”