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In Remembrance of Brock
Fallen soldier Sgt. Brock Chavers honored at Portal scrimmage game
Portal running back Jarvis Oglesby honored fallen soldier and Portal High graduate Brock Chavers on his eye black patches during Thursday's scrimmage against Southeast Bulloch. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff
    Prior to Thursday night's scrimmage between Portal and Southeast Bulloch, a ceremony was held in remembrance of Sgt. Brock H. Chavers Sr.
    Chavers was a loved member of the Portal community and a member of Portal's class of 2002. He joined the Georgia National Guard shortly after his graduation. Sgt. Chavers was killed while serving in Khanabad, Afghanistan on July 6.
    The ceremony began as members of the Chavers family made their way onto the field. Both teams stopped their pregame routines and joined cheerleaders in forming an arc around the middle of the field.
    A motorcade representing the Patriot Riders Group then entered the stadium, circling the playing field before stopping next to the Chavers family.
    William Gaskin, a member of the Patriot Riders Group, then spoke of Sgt. Chavers, the qualities that made him so respected and loved, and his lasting memory. Gaskin also commended the community of Portal and all of Bulloch County for the outpouring of sympathy and support upon hearing of Sgt. Chavers' death. He closed with a recitation of the poem “On Your Honor”, which is dedicated to the memory of fallen soldiers.
    At the conclusion of the speech, Sgt. Chavers' family was presented with an American flag that was used during a memorial service in his honor. The flag will be displayed in the halls of Portal Middle and High School and dedicated to the memory of Sgt. Chavers.
    PMHS principal Jimmy Parrish spoke of the symbol, saying that “many students will look at this flag and remember Sgt. Chavers, while many others will look at this flag and learn.”
    Fans, players and family members alike then bowed their heads in prayer to remember the strength, courage and sacrifice that Sgt. Chavers will always be remembered for.
    As the Portal JROTC — the same unit that Sgt. Chavers belonged to as a student — presented the colors, the National Anthem was then played.
    With the ceremony complete, the motorcade exited the stadium. The crowd started buzzing in anticipation of the scrimmage, but there was still one more point of order to attend to. Still encircling Sgt. Chavers' family at midfield, the Portal football players and cheerleaders did not take their positions on the sideline until each had shared a hug or handshake with the members of the Chavers family.
    “It was a touching ceremony,” said Portal coach Justin Chester after the scrimmage. “Portal is a very tight-knit community, so I know that this means a lot to our team and everyone in the stands.  We're a big family and I'm glad that so many members of Portal and Southeast Bulloch alike were able to come out and share this with us. Tonight was a good night in Portal.”
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