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Published: Wednesday, 5/9/2001

The legacy of a young life

Few outside high school or high school sports knew much about Drushaun Humphrey. But now that death has claimed the 18-year-old Rogers High School student, people who didn't know him are the poorer for it.

Both in private and in public conversations, much good has been said about the Rogers High School football player, who was playing a game of pick-up basketball when he collapsed and died last week. None of what often cuts young lives short claimed Drushaun. It was not a traffic accident that snuffed out his life. There has been no suggestion that he was engaged in illegal drug activity when his untimely death occurred. And suicide was not on his young mind.

So how could an apparently healthy athlete die? Other tests may provide some insight, but the question will linger: “Why?” We are not conditioned to the sudden loss of young people just preparing to enter the prime years of young adulthood.

Given the number of teenagers, teachers, friends, and Toledo area residents who attended Drushaun's funeral services to support and grieve with the family, he was well liked. Very well liked. A favorite son. A good kid with as bright a future as anyone could hope for. A football scholarship awaited him at Ohio State University. There was talk that pro scouts already had their eyes on him.

A rival coach at Akron Buchtel High School told the Akron Beacon Journal that Drushaun was the best he ever coached against. It was against the Buchtel Griffins that Drushaun played the last football game of his life last November at Rogers.

He loved his high school. He loved competing. He looked forward to college and making his family proud. There will be no collegiate or pro career for Drushaun Humphrey, but on the latter point - making his family, and his hometown, proud - he had already succeeded.

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