DAPHNE, Ala. (WKRG) — Under the Tuesday night lights, Ryland Tice’s former coach makes sure the 8-year-old’s legacy lives on. This week, their gamely tribute was before kickoff at Al Trione Park.
“He was the leader of the team. We miss him. And I wanted to make sure that this season was special for him, his family, and for the kids that he played with,” said Coach Sam Franklin. He was Ryland’s 10-and-under youth football coach for Foley.
Tice passed away in January, due to a sudden medical condition that seemed like the flu, his father told News 5 earlier this year.
Those who knew Tice described him as a ball of energy, a beast, and a teammate you want to have.
“Very respectful, very lovable, always gave you all of him,” said Franklin.
So now, before each game, Coach Franklin and the boys say a few words about Tice, and let that fuel them before they take to the field.
Earlier this year, to kick off the season, Coach Franklin and the youth football team presented Tice’s father with an honorary Player of the Week badge.