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The Student News Site of Louisa County High School

The Lion's Roar

The Student News Site of Louisa County High School

The Lion's Roar

UVA Community Unifies After Tragedy

Four+plaques+hang+at+the+south+end+of+the+UVA+football+field+in+honor+of+Dsean+Perry%2C+Devin+Chandler+and+Lavel+Davis+Jr.+%28left+to+right%29.
Eric Davis
Four plaques hang at the south end of the UVA football field in honor of D’sean Perry, Devin Chandler and Lavel Davis Jr. (left to right).
ESPN

After the University of Virginia (UVA) suffered a loss to the University of Pittsburgh last year, a tragedy struck UVA and the football team the next night. On November 14, 2022, three UVA football players, Lavel Davis Jr., Devin Chandler and D’sean Perry, were killed by a former UVA football player on a bus after returning from a class field trip.

“UVA strong means the entire community of students, faculty, fans, alumni, and everybody getting together for shared purpose,” Special Education teacher John Schick said. “It brought a lot of people really close. You see it in the team. Everybody wants to talk about wins and losses, but for this team, just getting on the field this year is a win.” 

UVA football held a pre-game ceremony for the three players on September 9, when UVA played on their home field for the first time since the tragedy. Skydivers who represented each player who passed, parachuted onto the field. They were followed by a “UVA Strong” skydiver as well. 

“It meant everything to [the players and families] because it really showed how much we really care and how much they meant to the UVA community,” junior George Albertson said. “Even one of them had transferred from Wisconsin, and it really showed that they were family.”

Junior George Albertson poses for a picture after his interview. (Eric Davis)

Senior running back, Mike Hollins, was a survivor of the tragedy. Per ESPN, Hollins scored his first touchdown since the tragedy, and even ended up with 2 touchdowns on the day.

“Hollins’ leadership has really pulled the group together and we’re really close to that,” Schick said. 

The tragedy brought a lot of challenges to the team and coaches, including the cancellation of the remainder of the 2022 season.

“I think they handled the adversity pretty well,” Albertson said. “I mean, the season obviously got canceled last year, but to come back and especially compete in this game the way they did, coming in as the underdogs, really showed that they handled the adversity well.”

An emotional event like this brought people together with the attendance of the game. According to ESPN, UVA had an attendance of 56,508 fans.

“This tragedy strengthened them, brought them together,” sophomore Brayden Hall said. “During the appreciation, everyone was together. It was very light-hearted and created a good feeling in the atmosphere at the game.”

 

Numbers of Davis Jr., Chandler and Perry are displayed on the stadium’s upper deck. (Eric Davis)
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Eric Davis
Eric Davis, Reporter/Photographer
Eric Davis is a staff member on the Lion’s Roar. It is his first year on the staff, and he is bringing a good knowledge of sports. Eric’s interests are baseball and basketball which are the sports he plays. 

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