RICHARDSON, Texas – There was a lot of energy in the air as the Mesquite High School Skeeters prepared to meet the Lake Highlands Wildcats on the football field at the Boneyard on Friday.
It was a special night for the varsity players from Mesquite. They started the game paying tribute to their former teammate Jordan Edwards. The 15-year-old was murdered by Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver back in April 2017. “Tonight’s our night,” a coach shouted to the players as they exited their bus and headed to the visitors’ locker room. “It’s a new Mesquite.”
You could feel the energy in the air as community members filled the stands and watched the players step on the field. The past year has been painful for the athletes, dealing with the death of their friend. “It’s very special. We would have loved to see Jordan play," Margie Henry said.
The football game was nothing short of special. Community members and supporters cheered on the team as they watched them take their frustrations to the football field in a focused manner. Each of the players wore a sticker with Jordan Edwards’ initials on their helmets. "I just think it’s awesome,” said Heather Mogdlin. “It’s like bringing them together, like a brotherhood.”
The game came a few days after members of the football team watched a jury convict Roy Oliver for Edwards’ murder. Oliver has been sentenced to 15-years in prison and a $10,000 fine for shooting Edwards in the head. The 15-year old young scholar was a passenger when Oliver fired five shots in a car. Edwards was innocent and unarmed.
During the game, community members paid tribute to Edwards with a moment of silence. His best friends honored the teen by wearing Edwards’ jersey #11. "I’ve just seen it’s a lot of strength and their attitude towards winning. It’s phenomenal. It’s like everybody out there, they are going to give their all," Vernettia Davis said.
Supporters call the Mesquite High School Skeeters a tight team with a strong bond. "I would just like for the team to keep Jordan in their spirit, and have lots of smiles like he would always want," Henry said. They say memories of Jordan Edwards is giving the community positive motivation this season.