Vian Football Player Remembered

Thursday, September 2nd 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

It's been a week since 18 year old Terrill Francis laid down for a nap and never woke up. The seemingly healthy high school senior had a promising football career ahead of him. Colleges all over the United States had their eye on the six-foot-five tight-end.
Thursday evening, the people of Vian gathered to say good-bye to the young man they call a hero. The crowd was all there for number "90". Terrill Francis has drawn crowds to Vian's Wolverine Stadium many times, but this time there's no cheering, only tears. Last Thursday, Terrill went home and took a nap after watching film in the school's fieldhouse.
A couple of hours later, his grandparents called for help when they couldn't wake him up. It was too late. Vian's superintendent says Terrill had been to the nurses office complaining of chest pains earlier in the day. He was then sent to the doctor who ran tests, but found nothing wrong. Terrill's death has people in this small town asking why. Antoinette Shade: "He was probably the most polite and gentle kid I've ever seen. I've never seen anybody as polite, everything was yes mam, no mam, is there anything I can do for you? That was Terrill." His teammates say playing without Terrill as the team leader and tightend doesn't seem right. The Wolerines will take the field Saturday night for the first game of the season... the same field where they remember the team's gentle giant Thursday. He may have gone home, but people here say he'll never leave their hearts.