Lawrence County teams unify to honor R.A. Hubbard football players

·2 min read

Jun. 11—COURTLAND — In Lawrence County, sports rivalries between the four high schools run deep.

But on Thursday, players and coaches for all four came together to support R.A. Hubbard, as the school held a memorial ceremony for two of its own: football players DJ Wiggins and Javion Brown, who died Tuesday in a car crash.

"It was indescribable," said Hatton head coach Denton Bowling. "Everyone has their community, everyone bleeds their school colors, but at the end of the day, everyone represents the 42." (The number 42 signifies Lawrence County on Alabama automobile license plates.)

The memorial served as an uplifting service for a community that has been shaken by the tragedy. Players, coaches, friends and family members alike grieved together as they remembered the lives of Wiggins and Brown and the memories they have of them.

"When we started out we were just teammates," said Keyondrick Cobb, a football player at R.A. Hubbard. "But after a while, they became more than just teammates. They were our brothers."

The image of county schools coming together in different school colors to support R.A. Hubbard is one that will be remembered for years to come.

"As soon as this happened, the first thing that ran through all these coaches' minds is we wanted to do something united," Lawrence County head coach Trent Walker said. "This community went through a terrible tragedy and today, seeing all the schools in different colors, you could just feel everyone sharing in that grief."

After the service was concluded coaches from the various schools went to work after the program, cutting and painting the R.A. Hubbard football field in preparation for the funeral services that will take place this weekend.

"Life is about others and serving and helping," said East Lawrence head coach Bo Culver. "We can't put ourselves in their shoes, but what we can do is help them, love them and be there for them."

The loss of Wiggins and Brown will weigh heavily on the hearts of many for months and years to come, but R.A. Hubbard head coach Mac Hampton said they will never truly be gone.

"Their time on earth may be over, but their spirits are still here," Hampton said. "The time we spent with them and the memories we have, whether it's a funny story, a conversation or just the friendship we had, will always keep their presence with us."