West St. John's football team honors its slain coach

West St. John's football team honors its slain coach
West St. John memorial (Source: WAFB)
West St. John memorial (Source: WAFB)

ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH, LA (WAFB) - The meaning of team became a whole lot deeper as the West St. John High School football team remembered one of its own at a playoff game on Friday.

One of their coaches, Juan Joseph, 27, was shot and killed on Nov. 16 following an argument in the parking lot of a nightclub on Bennington Drive in Baton Rouge.

Head Coach Robert Valdez says life won't be the same without him.

"Coach was a jokester," Valdez says.  "We used to take our kids to camp and before the season started and every year he always tried to figure out what type of jokes he could play on us and on me."

Ingrid Barnes says his death has affected the entire community.

"When this happened it hit everybody because he was just that type of child," Barnes said.  "He was a child that every parent wanted. He was respectful. He was a good father, a good brother, and a good son and a good coach."

In addition to a moment of silence, the Rams formed a "human tunnel" before the game and released 27 balloons in Joseph's honor while wearing black wristbands and decals on their helmets.

Using Joseph as an inspiration, West St.John won the game 51 to 0 as they go for another championship.

Meanwhile Joseph's funeral is Saturday and a memorial fund has been setup for his wife, daughter, and a child on the way. Joseph was the brother of former Southern University Quarterback Dray Joseph. Kendric and Lemark Cloud  who are cousins have been arrested in connection with the murder.

To donate to the memorial fund, Click here

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