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Sallisaw keeps memory of former football player Clay Glass alive

Posted at 9:08 PM, Oct 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-14 00:32:10-04

SALLISAW, Okla. -- The Sallisaw community is turning a tragedy into a new beginning. 

The family is using the death of their son to inspire other kids whose futures’ were as bright as his. 

On Friday night, the Sallisaw Black Diamonds played under the Friday night lights with Clay Glass close to their hearts.

They are making sure No. 36 is forever etched into not only this team, but this town.  

Rowty Redburn is only 11 years old, but even he, like most of Sallisaw, was changed just by knowing Glass. 

"He was always one of my favorite - well, my favorite football player.”

And as long as Clay’s mother Debra Glass is around, no one is forgetting him any time soon.

“I’m pretty sure everybody in town’s got a shirt,” Debra Glass said. 

She is making sure everyone has their own "36" to wear, and knows who the number will always belong to.

“I feel like I’m still doing something for him,” she said.

Chris Berton, a community member, is helping get the Clay Glass memorial scholarship fund to

"The initial scholarship we’re going to offer is going to go to a Sallisaw football player,” Berton said,

The scholarship will help a Black Diamond in need go to college like Clay worked so hard to do, but never got the chance. 

An atv accident in February took him away from his family at the age of 17.

For Damon and Debra, the pain still hits from time to time. Debra keeps him close to her heart as she crowns a few more people with Clay’s signature style.

“Even though he’s not here, physically here. He’s still here. He’s still here with me,” Debra Glass said. 

She is showing children like Rowty what a real football player, hard worker and role model looks like.

“I think I’ll wear this number until I probably stop playing football,” Redburn said.

The LeFlore County District Attorney’s office was unable to give an update on the case on Friday.

For information how you can donate to clay’s scholarship fund you can click here or here.

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