It will be a show of unity today as the Starkville High School football team attends the funeral of teammate Devin Mitchell.
The service for Mitchell will be held at Calvary Baptist Church this afternoon in Starkville and SHS football coach Jamie Mitchell said the team will honor the families wishes and come as a team.
The Yellowjackets will also be wearing black jerseys at the request of Devin's mother because that's what he will be buried in.
Jamie Mitchell said the team will bus from the SHS athletic complex to the service because it's important for them to be together during this time.
"The more we can be around each other the better it is," Jamie Mitchell said. "I think it's going to be a big thing for a while to come. It helps to be around each other."
Devin Mitchell was visiting family in West Point when he was shot and died in the early hours of New Year's Day morning.
According to coach Mitchell, there will be several ways the Jackets will honor the memory of Devin next season.
When Starkville opens the season against Noxubee County, Devin's family will be honored. The school will enclose one of the lockers in the new locker room under construction, put Devin's equipment there and his name plate will be there. Since Devin would have been a senior next season, he'll be remembered and his family recognized on Senior Night.
Coach Mitchell said there was still a decision to be made about exactly what to do with Devin's jersey number.
"I've talked to the parents about that and we have three choices," coach
Mitchell said. "We can retire the number permanently or let one senior wear it each week in his memory, or let it be wore by a senior each year from now on in his memory. We'll let his mom and dad make that decision, but I've talked to them about those choices and we'll make those at a later date."