5 months after death of 16-year-old teammate, Dekaney HS football coach teaches life lesson to squad

Greg Bailey Image
Tuesday, July 18, 2023
Dekaney HS football adopts strength in numbers attitude after tragedy
The loss of one of their own would have broken most football teams, but Dekaney High School is using a strength in numbers attitude to bounce back from tragedy.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- It's almost hard to breathe in the sizzling heat, but ABC13 anchor Greg Bailey watched Dekaney High School's football players laugh and joke as they prepared for their morning workout.

"Make it fun. Everybody out here loves this. Not everybody can come out here and do this," Nicholas Townsend said. The workouts seem to mean more for a tight-knit Wildcats team.

ORIGINAL REPORT: 16-year-old shot, killed outside of shopping center in N. Harris County, HCSO say

Head coach Anthony Williams knows he's providing more than structure and discipline. After Dekaney player Zion Lampley was shot and killed earlier this year, Williams offers his players a safe place to gather and grow together.

"When they know we love them like our own, and they love us like we're their own, it transfers to the season, Williams said. "It also transfers to life off the field and the future for everyone in the program.

Dekaney's players wore workout gear that reads "KAIZEN" across their chests, and "Get better every day."

The second pillar of the program is "Umbutu." Highly recruited linebacker Christian Nwosu explains it like this: "I am because we are. I am nothing without my brother. You're only as strong as your weakest link."

Coach Williams proudly tells ABC13 he has 11 players who already have big-time college scholarship offers.

Keyshawn Williams explained the impact of seeing former players return to the program to share lessons they've learned as they move onto the next level: "It's inspiring. They always come back. They tell us about colleges, how hard you have to work to get better."


"Unfortunately, we've done this too often," the Dekaney High School football coach said following the death of a 16-year-old player. He said last year, another teen was killed in the same area.

In the heat of the moment, the future waits.

Right now, the Wildcats are focused on one another, the young men they consider members of their own family.

"It makes me feel special. Just like my brothers and my dad are out here helping build me up to a different level, " Tanook Hines said.

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