Roanoke
68° F
Scattered Clouds
Scattered Clouds
Advertisement

Honoring Friday Football Extra greats who have passed away

By Travis Wells, twells@wdbj7.com
Published On: Aug 23 2013 05:49:14 PM EDT
Updated On: Aug 30 2013 07:30:06 PM EDT

Over the last three decades, Friday Football Extra has had plenty of impact coaches and players.  But unfortunately death has been a part of the show over that time as well, taking many of those people from us, including one of our own, the Dean of Sportscasters in Virginia, Roy Stanley.

Over the last three decades, Friday Football Extra has had plenty of impact coaches and players. But unfortunately, death has been a part of the show over that time as well, taking many of those people from us, including one of our own, the Dean of Sportscasters in Virginia, Roy Stanley.


This is a look back as we remember some of the losses that had nothing to do with the numbers on the scoreboard.
Roy Stanley was a part of Friday Football Extra for 18 years, winning the prestigious Marshall Johnson award for his high school sports coverage. Roy even covered his nephew Jermaine Rogers of Blacksburg during the 2001 season when Rogers was a player of the week. Later that season marked Roy's final game in his hometown of Wytheville where his George Wythe Maroons fell to Chilhowie. Roy passed away in April of 2002 at the age of 51 following a brief bout with cancer. In September of that year he was inducted into the Wythe County Hall of Fame.
Many of the players that Roy covered were also taken way too soon. William Fleming's Ronny Grogan was a Friday Football Extra Player of the Week in 1987, two years before was gunned down in a shooting at the Lincoln Terrace apartments at the age of 18.
Radford's Dana Palmer was also a member of that '87 Player of the Week Class. Palmer rushed for more than 3,200 yards and 44 touchdowns as a Bobcat before moving on to Ferrum. He died in 2001, succumbing to cancer.
Parry McCluer's Chris Wheeler made his mark as a quarterback and Player of the Week in 1987, too. But Wheeler's life was taken tragically in a car wreck.

Pulaski County lineman Lee Cook collapsed during a game at Victory Stadium in 1997, suffering a blow to his chest that stopped his heart. Cook's memory lives on though in the form of the Lee Cook Lineman of the Year Award, presented each year at the Friday Football Extra banquet in December.

Pulaski County's Kevin Crouse was one of the most talented tailbacks around during the 2004 and 2005 seasons, but Crouse tragically took his own life with a self-inflicted gunshot in 2006.
And just last year, former Rockbridge County quarterback Chase Prasnicki died while serving in the Army in Afghanistan, following a successful career at West Point.

The coaching ranks haven't been immune to painful losses either.
Carl Williams taught plenty of life lessons at Bath County. In 1989, with the help of Tim and Chris Williams, the Chargers made it somewhere they'd never been before, the state semis, before losing to Appalachia 27-23. Carl Williams fought cancer throughout that entire season, eventually losing his battle with the disease.

Bob Williams, who won 198 games in 21 seasons at Parry McCluer, passed away in 2005, but not before the field in Buena Vista bore his name.

And Ed Martin, who coached the likes of Herman Moore at George Washington High School in Danville, died in 2000 at 51, after suffering a massive heart attack. Martin has the second-most wins in school history, getting the Eagles to state championship games in 1994 and 1996.