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Remembering Teddy
Family, friends, fans gather to honor fallen Eagle
CRAFT mug bw
Teddy Craft, former Georgia Southern Eagle killed by injuries sustained in motorcycle accident


Family, friends and fans gathered Wednesday, July 4 to remember the life of former GSU football player Teddy Craft.

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    One year ago, Georgia Southern football player Teddy Craft passed away after injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident in Statesboro. On Wednesday, his friends, fans and family reunited to celebrate his life and what it meant to the Georgia Southern community.
    Hosted by former GSU receiver Reggie McCutchen, Craft’s best friend, the event took place on campus at the outdoor pavilion at the Recreation Activities Center. Organizers provided pizza, hot dogs, burgers and chicken to over 100 guests who showed for the event.
    One of those guests, was none other than Craft’s mother, Marilyn.
    “It means a lot to know that the guys loved Teddy,” she said. “I know that Teddy’s in heaven looking down. I told the guys to keep their heads up and keep looking up because that’s how Teddy would have wanted it. I really, really appreciate the guys showing all the love.”
    Craft, who would have been a senior in 2006, amassed 1,090 yards receiving and 991 yards returning kicks in three seasons for the Eagles. A student section favorite, Craft had a smile that few who met him could forget. Two months before the start of his senior year, his motorcycle ran off Pretoria-Rushing road in Statesboro, ending his life at the age of 22.
    “Nobody was going out of town so we decided to have something for him,” said McCutchen, who graduated from Georgia Southern in the spring. “Last week I woke up, and said, ‘Let’s do something for Teddy’. Southern Boosters came through, we’ve got a lot of donations and I’m just real excited about the event.”
    The gathering lasted from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., with a pick-up flag football game breaking out around 2:30. With members of the football team unable to resist the call of the gridiron, the rest of the crowd gathered in the shade of the trees and discussed their memories of Craft.
    “We wanted to come out and show our support for (Craft) and his family,” said senior Jayson Foster, who threw passes to Craft from the quarterback position during the triple-option era. “It’s a big event, especially for the football family and the Georgia Southern family. Once you’re a Georgia Southern football player you’re always a Georgia Southern football player.”
    At around 3:30 p.m., with the song “Wind Beneath my Wings” being sung in the background, the crowd gathered around a Teddy Craft memorial and reflected on the Hartwell, Ga., native’s life for just one more time.

    Chad Bishop can be reached at (912) 489-9408.