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Published: Friday, September 29, 2017 @ 7:36 PM
Updated: Saturday, September 30, 2017 @ 2:32 PM
SPRINGFIELD — UPDATE @ 2:30 p.m.
Springfield High School football teammates locked arms Friday night in a show of support for the family of a 15-year-old Springfield student who died of leukemia, according to Athletic Director Mike Dellapina.
Carly DeLong, a volleyball and softball player at Catholic Central, died last weekend after a battle with Leukemia.
Despite earlier reports, Springfield, Xenia, Wayne and Centerville football players were not involved in a protest of “The Star Spangled Banner.”
Carly was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia on New Year’s Eve and was being treated for cancer at Dayton Children’s Hospital, according to a school’s earlier news release.
Both earlier this year and last night, players and students wore orange - the color associated with leukemia awareness - in support of Carly and the DeLong family.
Wayne football players locked arms in a show of solidarity as well Friday night during their game against Centerville.
“They wanted to show their unity and they did with no disrespect to anyone at all. We have a couple of veterans on our coaching staff that thought this was awesome. Very proud of our kids for being creative in handling a difficult situation,” Wayne coach Jay Minton said.
Minton said rumors on social media indicated the players engaged in a protest during the national anthem.
“Our guys wanted to show a united front. No protest at all. However, there were social media tweets all week falsely saying that the football players were taking a knee for the national anthem in order to protest, which is emphatically not true,” Minton said.
Some area high school football teams on Friday night made public statements inspired by the national anthem.
Some teams locked arms at these games:
Springfield at Xenia
Centerville at Wayne
Some teams didn’t leave their locker room until after the anthem.