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Friends, Teammates Show Support for Fallen Football Player

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FAYETTEVILLE — A Fayetteville mother is grieving over the loss of her son, a Douglas Byrd High School football player who was shot to death in his home Wednesday. Meanwhile, friends and teammates gathered at Friday night's game to honor his memory.

Grieving Mother Convinced of Son's InnocenceVivian Holliday's youngest son, 18-year-old Sherman Holliday, was killed while she was at work.

"The doctor told me he passed away, and I kept saying, 'No, no, it can't be true,'" she says. "When your own child dies, especially like this, you have to be strong."

Holliday has to be strong for her family. Another son, Dennis, is now a suspect in his brother's murder. He and his friend, Craig Tatum, told his family that they were asleep when they heard gunshots ring out inside the house. Fayetteville police have questioned them both.

The mother says she knows her son is innocent.

"There's no doubt in my mind. I know my son had nothing to do with it," she says. "I'm trying to do my best with him and comfort him. He's upset." Team, Friends Remember Holliday at GameAt a state championship semifinal game Friday night, the focus was to honor Sherman's memory. His oldest brother, Bryan, wore Sherman's #43 jersey while sitting on the sidelines during the game. Fans wore ribbons in Holliday's honor, and students hung banners in his memory.

"When someone loses a child, I just can't imagine going through something like that," says parent Carolyn Willis.

Douglas Byrd lost Friday's game, but teammates say they are thankful they still had a wonderful season and a chance to say goodbye to their friend.

The Douglas Byrd Booster Club is trying to raise money to help pay for Holliday's funeral. Donations are also being accepted at the school.


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