Community teams up to honor high school hero - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Community teams up to honor high school hero

Lee Townsend is known in West Memphis as a football star and an honor student. A good kid who was apparently in the wrong place at the wrong time when he was critically injured in a shooting last weekend.

Now, the community is turning out to back the linebacker and his family.

Katherine and Lee Townsend sat front and center at the Blue Devil's semi-finals while their son recovers in the hospital.

"I'm gonna miss seeing him on the field, but in my heart he's out there too. Because all of 'em, they play like a team," said Townsend's mother.

Earlier in the day, Coach Lanny Dauksch prepped the team for the big game as players dealt with the absence of their star linebacker.

"We talked to 'em a long time Monday and we had some professional help in the school. It hit some of the really hard who were close to Lee," explained Dauksch.

The Blue Devils have been to the semi-finals and lost twice before. So, the stakes are high without the high school senior on the field.

"He'll be close to us and will be thought of and of course there's a lot of signs around the stadium so we're gonna know where he's at and hopefully he'll get to listen to it and enjoy it," said Dauksch.

Support for Townsend is stretching far beyond the field. Country Squire sporting goods put the number 5 on all the player's helmets.

The players say it is all in the family.

"He's part of our family, Blue Devils down here. But ah, we know what we gotta do and we'd really like to win it for him," said teammate Nicholas Shuburt.

His parents say they are touched by the community outpouring as Townsend's condition rapidly improves in the intensive care unit.

Doctors told his mom that he might even be able to play football again, but she is focusing on his recovery, his academics and where he will go to college.

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