Windsor player won’t wear No. 77

Published 10:14 am Friday, September 16, 2011

WINDSOR—Windsor High School senior center Nick Powell will not wear his No. 77 football jersey during Friday’s home game against Southampton High School.

Powell chose to do so out of respect for Brian Rushing and his family. A Southampton High School starting senior defensive tackle who wore No. 77, Brian died Saturday morning after playing in a game against Franklin the night before. Preliminary autopsy results indicated the 17-year-old’s death was due to an undiagnosed heart condition.

“He’s doing it out of respect for the young man and his family,” Windsor Football Coach Chuck Parrish said about Powell’s decision. “He’s a great young man. All of our guys are a great group of guys.”

“I think it’s awesome,” added the Rev. Chuck Worth, spokesman for the Rushing family. “It shows a lot of maturity and a lot of compassion.”

Several of Brian’s family members are expected to attend the game, including his mother, Donna Rushing of Capron.

“That’s subject to change. She’s having some rough moments,” Worth said. “The last I heard, everyone was going. There’s a whole bunch of relatives who will be in town for the funeral.”

Brian’s funeral will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, in the auditorium of Southampton High School with Worth officiating. Interment will follow in Capron Cemetery.

There also will be a moment of silence for Brian during the non-district game, which Parrish expects will be a tough one. Windsor is 2-0 and Southampton, 2-1. Southampton last week defeated Franklin 34-14 and Windsor beat Nandua 31-0.

“They are a great football team,” Parrish said about the Indians. “They’re physically fast.”

Southampton Coach Wes Griffith did not return a phone call.