High School Football Teams Join Together in Prayer Mid-Game as Player's Grandma Collapses in Stands
The 18-year-old boy was living with his grandma after his mom died last fall
A Texas high school football player — and his team — is in mourning after his grandmother collapsed in the stands during his game and sadly passed away.
Ethan Davis, of Hawley, had been living with his grandmother, Dolly Joyce Dodgen, ever since his mother passed away from cancer last year, KTXS reported.
On Nov. 3, Dodgen, 74, was attending her grandson’s Friday night football game at Forsan High School and had proudly watched on as Davis caught a two-point conversion and put his team up 16-0, according to KTXS.
For Dodgen, it would be the last play she saw her 18-year-old grandson make. Just moments after the exciting catch, she suffered a heart attack in the stands.
The game was temporarily halted as paramedics arrived with an ambulance and rushed Dodgen to a nearby hospital in Big Spring, the news outlet reported.
Meanwhile, on the field, players and coaches from both teams huddled together and prayed for Davis and his grandmother, which was captured in a photo by Rebecca Medina, the home team’s assistant principal.
“So last night, under the Friday light lights, we received a vivid reminder of the unpredictability of life,” the assistant principal at Forsan High School wrote on Facebook.
“In the middle of the football game all activity stopped as a fan from the opposing school collapsed in the stands.”
“A literal silence fell over the entire stadium as paramedics rushed to help,” she continued. “In the midst of the unknown and the worry, our Forsan Buffaloes walked across the field to join the Hawley players and they all prayed together.”
“So many times these kids/young people are criticized for the way they are, but last night they showed us how things are done. I’m so proud of these kids. I love them dearly and certainly look up to them in times like this,” she added.
The game resumed shortly after but by the third quarter, Dodgen had sadly passed away at the hospital with Davis by her side, Head Coach Mitch Ables told KTXS.
While still coming to grips with his loss, Davis tells PEOPLE his grandmother “was a very terrific woman and I can’t tell you enough about her.”
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Dodgen was laid to rest on Tuesday morning. Her obituary described her as a “devoted wife, mother, and grandmother” who was passionate about sports — “especially watching the Hawley Bearcats play football” — cooking, reading the Bible and sending daily text messages to her daughters and 26 grandchildren.
“She was the complete example of a lady, and her contagious smile will be missed daily by all of us,” the page reads.
A GoFundMe page has been set up following Dodgen’s tragic passing in an effort to help financially support Davis and his grandfather, Leonard Dodgen. In just one day, the page has raised over $2,400.