‘They want us to keep going’: Memorial honors the lives of UVA football players killed

Teammates, friends, and family gathered to celebrate the lives of those lost and those still battling

The UVA community came together to remember the lives of the three football players tragically killed.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The UVA community across the nation came together to honor the lives of Devin Chandler, D’Sean Perry, and Lavel Davis Jr.

It’s been a week of emotions for Hoos and Saturday’s memorial service was filled with emotions in every form.

Whether it was the tears or the laughter in sharing stories of these young men, a community continues to heal from tragedy.

A packed John Paul Jones arena filled with Cavalier blue and orange gave grounds for a moment to be together.

Much of Saturday’s memorial was about the family and team. Many players gave their thoughts and prayers for the brother they lost.

Elijah Gaines, a second-year at UVA, says these new angels want the community to fight.

“Everyone here is forever in our hearts. Lavel, Devin, and D’Sean. I know they would want us to keep going and to push forward and cherish and love the memories we have of each and every one of them,” Gaines said.

Perhaps the only person to touch every one of these men’s lives, Coach Tony Elliott was one of the last people to speak.

“Because of 1, 15, 41, we have a responsibility to rebuild this community and program on the legacy of their stars,” Elliott said.

The UVA community did not lose just players.

“They were more than just football players. They were kind, they were funny, they were full of energy, they were serious students. They were sons and grandsons and brothers,” University President Jim Ryan said.

This is still the beginning of a long road of grief and sorrow. But this memorial was more important for this community than any football game.

About the Author:

Connor Dietrich joined the 10 News team in June 2022. Originally from Castle Rock, Colorado, he's ready to step away from the Rockies and step into the Blue Ridge scenery.