‘He wanted to be the best:’ Coach remembers Tara High football star killed in shooting

Tara High football coach remembers star player killed in shooting

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Tara High School lost a standout player late Sunday afternoon (Feb. 23). The teen was shot on O’Neal Lane, according to the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office. He shined both on and off the field, according to his coach.

Coach Terry Washington says the teen was a big man on campus. Standing at 6’ 4″ and weighing 325 lbs, of course nobody wanted to get in his way on the field, but it was the way he carried himself that made the players and coaches love him.

From the moment Terry Delaney III started school at Tara High School in 2017, he put in work.

“He wanted to be the best football player at Tara High School,” said Washington. “And he wanted to be the best football player in the district. He really wanted to be the best football player in the State of Louisiana to be honest with you.”

The standout spoke with WAFB 9Sports during the annual Sportsline Summer Camp as he prepared for an unforgettable senior year.

“I’m going to be more in shape than I ever was this year,” Delaney told WAFB in the interview.

Washington says the three-year starter wanted to dominate, but his driving force was his family.

Coach Washington recalls a past conversation.

“We would just sit in the office. He and I would just talk about plans in four years. He said, ‘Coach, I want to be able to buy my mom a house. I want to be able to take care of my little brother,’” Washington said.

Keeping his family top of mind, Washington says the team captain pushed so he could go to college.

“I remember when he qualified, he said, ‘Coach, I made the 18. I can go to college.’ I said, ‘Man that’s great. Let’s go ahead and make the phone call and get everything done,’” said Washington.

Delaney got it done. Here recently signed a scholarship for a full ride to Southeastern Louisiana University. The coach says when they needed a defensive play, Delaney stepped up to be the go-to guy.

Coach Washington says it’s not what Delaney would say that will stick with him, but that his strong presence is what he’ll miss the most.

“When I first met that young man, he was full of confidence. I knew he was going to be special," Washington said.

Washington says the next few months will be difficult as the seniors approach graduation.

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