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Virginia set to host Coastal Carolina in wake of tragedy

Sportsnaut
Nov 15, 2022; Charlottesville, Virginia, US; A view of flowers placed at a makeshift memorial outside Scott Stadium in memory of three Virginia Cavaliers football players who were killed in a shooting on the grounds of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY NETWORK
Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY NETWORK

Hearts heavy after the unimaginable shooting deaths of teammates Lavel Davis Jr., Devin Chandler and D’Sean Perry, Virginia will somehow prepare to play a football game.

The Cavaliers (3-7, 1-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) are slated to face Coastal Carolina (9-1, 6-1 Sun Belt) on Saturday afternoon in their final nonconference game of the season in Charlottesville, Va.

Virginia could still make the decision to cancel the game and perhaps the remainder of the season. Athletic director Carla Williams said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon consultations with the coaching staff and the team were planned before any next steps are taken.

“We’ll make it together,” she said. “(The players) are going through a lot and we want to make sure they’re involved as well.”

Virginia has lost three straight games and six of their last seven.

Yet the only numbers on anybody’s mind if there is a game at Scott Stadium on Saturday will be 1, 15 and 41, the jersey digits worn by Davis, Chandler and Perry, respectively.

“We’ve just got to stay together and uplift each other,” senior defensive tackle Aaron Faumui told WAVY on Monday, just hours after learning of the terrible tragedy on campus.

Another player, Mike Hollins Jr., was wounded in the shooting and was reported to be doing well following a second surgery on Tuesday.

A former UVA player, Christopher Jones Jr., faces three counts of second-degree murder.

“The guys are on the road to healing, but it’s going to take some time,” coach Tony Elliott said on Tuesday. “Nothing can prepare you for this situation and we just want to be there to support the guys.”

Coastal Carolina coach Jamey Chadwell expressed his sentiments on social media.

“Our program is heartbroken for UVA, the victim’s families, loved ones and the entire community of Charlottesville,” he wrote on Twitter. “Our prayers are with all involved.”

The Chanticleers, ranked No. 23 in this week’s AP poll, have won three in a row.

They beat Southern Miss 26-23 last Saturday in their first game without injured quarterback Grayson McCall, who is out for the rest of the regular season with a foot injury.

Virginia fell 37-7 last Saturday against Pitt. Brennan Armstrong’s first two passes were intercepted and returned for touchdowns by the Panthers.

–Field Level Media