Friday night lights for the Reitz Panthers. It’s game one of the season, and game one without one of their own.
It was a dominant victory over their first opponent, but it was a somber victory without Logan Brown.
The 15 year-old was killed in a crash, allegedly caused by a drunk driver.
Charles Brown is a proud father alone in the Reitz Bowl.
“Today’s just a little different for us,” Brown says. “It’s going to be an emotional day to say the least, to come out here and watch the team play.”
He sits in seat 21, like he does every year, but when he looks down to find his son’s No. 56, it won’t be between the white lines.
“A piece of our team is still missing and probably won’t ever go away,” says Reitz student Laura Rusk. “He was one of the best, most positive players out on the field and we’re all still really missing him tonight.”
Brown says it feels different tonight, but it’s about the team. Logan may be gone but he’s not forgotten. He was with the team for the coin toss before the game.
“I don’t think it’s as much as they’re doing it for us ,or for Logan, I think they’re doing it for them.”
Charles may have lost his son, but he’s got a team full of Panthers he calls his own.
“I’ve been around these kids and coached a lot of them and watched them grow up, so there’s a lot of enjoyment in it for me.”
Logan, known affectionately by his teammates as ‘Truck’ lives on.
He says the team’s motto this year is “We’re gonna truck ’em,” and he hopes to see plenty of that this season.
Saturday, the Evansville Junior Football League, where Logan got his start, will unveil a monument in his honor at the league’s complex on S. Barker Ave. at 8:30 a.m.