A chair at the Caney Valley High football banquet will be empty this season.
Ethan Dodson hasn’t taken up much space – but the absence of the No.33 will leave a giant void in the hearts of his Trojan team-mates as they prepare to open football training next Monday.
However, the No. 33 will still be on the pitch for every game of every game – his teammates plan to wear the number sticker of their fiery colleague who died on July 30 following an out-of-court accident on their helmets. drowning in town.
Unfortunately – tragically – Dodson will not physically be part of what should be a promising season for the Trojans.
But, in the thoughts and emotions of his teammates, he will be with them every step of the way. And, if the sky smiles kindly at football, its spirit of support might linger nearby.
Dodson died July 30 while swimming at Ponca Lake in Kay County.
To honor his memory, a candlelight vigil is scheduled for Saturday at 7 p.m. at Caney Valley High School Football Stadium in Ramona. The stadium is located one block behind and north of the school on the first major left (east) exit into Ramona on Highway 75.
“We called him ‘Mighty Mouse,'” Trojans seventh-year head coach Stephen Mitchell said. “The reason he had that nickname was because he was small but so strong. He would come out and tackle that 360-pound player if I let him.
The 17-year-old future senior was set to wrap up a four-year career on the playing grid at Caney Valley – but Trojan coaches knew about it long before he arrived on the big campus.
“He’s played for me or one of my coaches since his sixth year,” Caney Valley seventh-year head coach Stephen Mitchell said.
In terms of the spotlight, Dodson failed to shine in the designation of a team star. He was just a compact guy who loved the game, loved his school and his teammates, and liked to face challenges head-on.
“He was a role player,” Mitchell said. “He was going to play for me on special teams and stuff.”
But, as a teammate and a personality, he was an important part of the dynamic of the Trojan football family.
“Ethan was fun loving and was a great kid,” Mitchell said. “He kind of had a huge heart. He ran through a brick wall for me and brought back a piece of brick.
No doubt whatever the Trojans can accomplish in the next four months, they will in quiet moments think of No 33 – his smile and his love of the give and take of the game – and include his essence in their celebrations.