By John Davis, Sports Editor
Hugh Freeze is more than just the head football coach of the Ole Miss Rebels. He is also a father to three children and he understands what the children of the three families who lost parents in Sunday’s tragic plane crash are feeling. Many of the children who lost a mother and father were at practice Tuesday morning.
Defensive end Fadol Brown wore the cap of the Yalobusha Giants, the team of Luke Farese and coached by his father Jason, while he posed for a picture with the kids. Many of the other Rebels hugged the children, while Freeze meet with each one just before the start of drills.
“The hurt that I feel for those families, I went home and spent some time with my kids. I just can’t imagine … you search for answers and you just at a total loss of words,” Freeze said. “I know the Oxford community though because I’ve lived here for five years and three before. I know that they will rally. I know that we’re going to do our part in helping these young kids have a future that is secure. I know their families will, too. We’re here to help. We’ve got all those kids here today from those families. It hit home for sure. One of the young girls is one of my daughter’s good friends. I told our team that you’re not promised another day and what we can do is rise up and be the best man that we can be, whether that’s being a football player or just using the platform that God has given us to make a difference.”
Madison Manning was another child that Freeze, his staff and the team hosted late last week. Manning has cystic fibrosis, and Freeze said he has been sent home because doctors can’t do anything more him. Manning’s brother also passed from the same disease nine years ago.
“Our kids did a remarkable job of giving him a day that he won’t ever forget and hopefully it brings a smile to his face when he thinks about it,” Freeze said. “We can always look at our problems and our issues going on, but it’s all relative and something that happened this week reminds us of that we could have it a lot worse.”