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A Rousing Send-Off

Nick Blakely

A crowd of students, waving “Go Hatter” signs, cheered and clapped as the Stetson University football team departed early Friday morning for the season opening game against Sacred Heart University — missing one player.

The team is dedicating the game in Connecticut on Saturday to linebacker Nick Blakely, 19, who collapsed and later died following a light football practice this week.

Family and friends said the sophomore accounting major, who didn’t play last season as a redshirt freshman, was excited and looking forward to his first Hatter football game. Hundreds attended a campus Service of Remembrance for him Thursday night in Lee Chapel, including his father and other family members.

The game will be streamed live Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and the community is invited to join together at the Rinker Welcome Center, or the game can be seen on Sacred Heart’s video feed: http://necfrontrow.com/webcast.php/SHU-4636/ .

-Cory Lancaster



Wendy Libby and her husband wave to the crowd.

Stetson University President Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D., and her husband, Richard, get ready to board the bus for Saturday’s football game against Sacred Heart University in Connecticut.