Copyright 2018 Southeastern Newspapers Corporation
All Rights Reserved
The Augusta Chronicle (Georgia)
Melquan Robinson was honored and his life was celebrated Saturday during his youth football team's game at Butler Bulldog Stadium.
The 12-year-old, who played for the Trinity Elite Titans 12-U team, died Monday after he was electrocuted when he touched a fence at a Fleming Athletic Complex field that had been electrified by an underground live wire.
During halftime of the team's game against the Empact Elite Wolves, of Baldwin County, No. 23 balloons (Melquan's number) were released into the air and a donation from fans and Georgia Pac 12 American Youth Football, of which the Titans are a member, was presented to Melquan's family.
"This is a celebration because this is what we're here for, to celebrate your son's life," commissioner Jermaine Hudson told Melquan's parents, Melquan Robinson Sr. and Chinnika Jackson, and others who gathered for the ceremony. "If he was out here, that's what he would be doing, celebrating."
Melquan's No. 23 was retired, and Hudson said teams will wear No. 23 stickers on their helmets throughout the league's playoffs, which end Nov. 10, in remembrance of Melquan.
"It was great teamwork. You could feel the love and support," said Baylon Stone, the coach of Melquan's team. "We really appreciate it."
The Titans led the Empact Elite Wolves 6-0 at the half before the Wolves rallied for a 35-20 victory.
"It was emotional coming into the game. It's been a rough week. We only had one practice (Friday)," Stone said. "This was a tough one for us. But they played ball. I'm really proud of them."
Before the game, Melquan's teammates and his mother, father and brother, Jaden, held up two and three fingers in his honor on the stadium's track.
Jaden wore a special No. 23 jersey, which players and coaches signed. The back of it read, "#LONGLIVEMEL."
His mother wore shirts and a hoodie that read, "Long Live Melquan" that featured a picture of the two.
Others, including his father, wore "Fly High TITANS" T-shirts, which featured a picture of Melquan with angel wings.
The Empact Elite Wolves team came out with a banner that read, "Melquan 23 In Our Hearts." Players raised their helmets in his honor.
Before another game between the two programs, the teams held a banner that included the words, "#MelquanStrong ONE FAMILY 23 FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS."
"It's a difficult situation right now, but we're trying to do all that we can to make sure this family's taken care," Hudson said.
Hudson praised the two friends who tried to help Melquan and were injured Traqwon Berry and David Sette. They are out of the hospital.
"Those guys are heroes," Hudson said. "As long as they're out here and can play youth football, if they come and join the Pac 12, they will never have to pay any registration fee."
Hudson extended the same offer to Jaden.
A vigil for Melquan was held Thursday night at Bernie Ward Community Center. His funeral will be held at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 27 at Beulah Grove Baptist Church, 1434 Poplar St.
Read More of Today's AB Headlines
Subscribe to Our Daily E-Newsletter