High school athletic teams from around the state were able to gather and work out Monday. The Covid-19 dead period imposed by the North Carolina Athletic Association expired paving the way for the workouts. In Franklin, the Panthers football team gathered but were missing a very important piece to their team.
Devyn Blackburn, a rising junior was badly injured in a car wreck last month. He suffered injuries to his brain and had several broken bones. Devyn of course won't be playing football this year as he recovers from his serious injuries which almost ended his life, but his presence still being felt.
His coach Josh Brooks says the team is using the slogan "Devyn Strong" to inspire them. He says "As we know he's fighting every day to get better and improve his health. That's going to be our slogan. We're not going to make excuses. We're not going to complain. We are going to fight every day to get better. "
Devyn has a hard rehab, but he has shown great toughness is his battle. In a week he went from using a walker to cautious steps all on his own.
Blackburn may not be on the field this season but he is in the hearts of everyone that is. Coach Brooks says, " I've got kids that are playing football this year that may not have played but they felt like they owed the respect to Devyn because they knew Devyn would be here."