High school football team honoring fallen teammate

Locust Grove (Okla.) High School will run its first offensive play against Westville High without a left guard Friday night.

The Pirates are honoring Kale Christian, who died April 1 in a car wreck northwest of the small Oklahoma town.

Davidson was a 6-foot-4, 270-pound guard who started as a freshman. He was 16 years old.

Will Bates is the new left guard and he will leave the formation before the ball is snapped and run off the field.

“Somebody asked me if playing with 10 men (for one play) would be a disadvantage and I said it’s more like we’ve been playing with a 12th man all year,” Locust Grove coach Matt Hennessey told the Tulsa World. “That’s kind of the way we’re looking at it.”

The Pirates dedicated the season to Davidson and wear ‘BK-71’ stickers on their helmets. The Locust Grove captains will bring a No. 71 jersey to midfield for the coin flip.

“The town’s really come together over this deal,” Hennesy said to the Tulsa World. “You hate for something tragic to happen, but it’s really kind of tied everything else together. It might be the reason we’re 4-0.”

Locust Grove has less than 1,500 people and plays Class 3A football in Oklahoma. The town is about 45 minutes east of Tulsa. The Pirates are 4-0 this season.

Follow Andrew Gilman on Twitter: @andrewgilmanOK