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Granville coach leaves lasting legacy for players

Posted January 11

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— Two people died after a head-on crash in Granville County on Friday including a well-liked youth football coach.

Emotions were still raw Monday and parents and coaches find it hard to believe they’ve lost one of their own.

Daniel was known for being tough on the field.

“We were over in that field and he brought them over to hit the sleds and Shawn was working with them. I was thinking this dude is hard core,” said Coach George Brackett.

He was also known for having an equally big heart.

“When they would have a tough loss, he’d be like ‘hey, that score board doesn’t define you’,” said Bruce Parrish with the South Granville Athletic Association.

Daniel was the coach of the Mighty Mites Vikings football league in Granville County. He died Friday after colliding head-on with another driver on Highway 56. It’s a loss many are feeling as a team and as a family.

“He would refer to them as his boys,” Parrish said. “He would tell those kids ‘Hey, I love you.”

Daniel was a husband and father of three children, ages 16, 14, and 11. Brackett had a difficult time finding the right words to explain the loss to his own son.

“My son has played under Shawn for at least four years with a gap in between, so [he had] a pretty big impact on his life and mine too,” he said.

Nothing will be the same moving forward, but the group vows to give all they’ve got for the coach they said gave everything he had to them.

“We’re going to carry on with heavy hearts and we’re going to go out there and do it for Shawn this year,” said Brackett.

The Highway Patrol said alcohol is not suspected in the crash. Troopers identified Robert Ellis as the other man who died in the accident. His family was unable to be reached Monday.

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