Coach: Football field was ‘piece of heaven’ for slain player


May 1, 2019 - 10:12 AM

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Hundreds gathered in Kansas to remember a Washburn University football player who was killed in a shooting that also wounded a friend who had been drafted hours earlier by the New York Giants.

The Kansas City Star reports that coach Craig Schurig said at Tuesday’s vigil for 23-year-old Dwane Simmons that the football field was his “piece of heaven.” The coach compared Simmons, a junior from Lee’s Summit, Missouri, to the candles carried by mourners, saying he “shined the light on everybody.” The university plans to create a scholarship in Simmons’ name.

The shooting early Sunday outside an off-campus party also injured cornerback Corey Ballentine, whom the Giants drafted Saturday in the sixth round. The university says Ballentine is expected to make a full recovery. No one has been arrested.

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