JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Belhaven football team has a tradition that was created by a tragedy. That tradition, however, is designed to bring out the best in the team’s players and also remind everyone of the player they lost.
Trey Rich’s memory lives in the Belhaven locker room and also on the field. Prior to each game, the football coaching staff picks a player to wear Rich’s number 12.
“The most hard-working person every week gets number 12,” said senior wide receiver Nolan Satcher. “Trey Rich was a hard worker every week.”
On Christmas Eve 2014, Rich was riding his bike in Richland when he was struck and killed by a drunk driver.
“I was sitting in my family’s log cabin in Lafayette, Louisiana, and Blizz (Belhaven offensive coordinator Bobby Blizzard) called and told us,” Satcher said. “It was a hard time.”
It was a hard time indeed, and the team wanted to find a way to honor Rich’s legacy.
“We was actually eating lunch and we wanted to do something for Trey and we came up with that idea together,” Blizzard said.
Blizzard and head coach Hal Mumme decided they would award Rich’s number 12 to a deserving player each week.
“If you display the kind of characteristics that Trey Rich had, he worked hard every day, he was a great teammate, a captain type kind of a guy, we’ll let you wear number 12,” Blizzard said.
In the season opener last Thursday, Satcher was the first recipient of the jersey.
“I was close to Trey personally so to get it the first week means a lot,” Satcher said. “I worked hard for it and when he told me IO had it i knew I had to show out for my boy.”
Satcher did just that, catching three first half touchdowns in the win over Millsaps. Satcher had just one career touchdown in his first three seasons with the Blazers prior to that game.
“I knew whenever I stepped out it was gonna be 100 percent no matter what,” Satcher said. “And to have number 12, there’s no other feeling.”