Locust Grove football team honors fallen teammate in Pirates state playoff opener against Roland

LOCUST GROVE, Okla. - The Locust Grove Pirates are set to continue their inspirational undefeated season in the opening round of the state playoffs.

The Pirates are 11-0, their best season in school history. But this team understands loss.

Kale Davidson, or "Big Kale" as he was called by his Locust Grove teammates, died in a car accident in April.

"He was one of those kids who sat right in the front row, stared you in the face and you knew he wanted to be good," said head coach Matt Hennessy. "He was a great kid."

The Pirates honor "Big Kale" before every game, carrying his jersey out of the locker room with them.

"They knew how hard he worked," said Hennesy. "It makes you stop and think too. We always tell these kids, you don't know when your last play is going to be sometimes. It's more than just a sprained ankle or a blown out knee."

Davidson's best friend, Ryan Woolman, understood his buddy's commitment to the football team.

"He was going to do anything to get a starting spot and make this program better," Woolman said.

The senior lineman knows his team rallied after Davidson's death.

"Everyone stepped up and knew what we were playing for," he said. "We were going to play for him."

The Pirates undefeated season continued Friday night. They defeated Roland 62-10.

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