Creekside High School football player dies after being injured

COURTESY: Todd Holcomb, Robert Lee
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A Creekside High School football player died after being injured in a scrimmage Friday night.

DeAntre Turman, an 11th grader and cornerback for the Seminoles, died after being hurt on the Banneker High School field in College Park, the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office confirmed Saturday morning.

Samantha Evans, spokeswoman for Fulton County schools said the teen was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he died.

Calls to Creekside head coach Olten Downs were not immediately returned. Downs is in his first season at Creekside in Fairburn. He previously was head coach at Riverdale.

Johnny T. White, Creekside’s head coach from 2009 to 2011, heard the news from a Creekside parent who saw the scrimmage. White was Turman’s head coach as a freshman. “He’s one of the best kids I’ve ever dealt with in my 18 years of coaching, period, hands down,” White said. “He was quiet, but always smiling. He had a real good spirit. It was always yes sir, no sir. He enjoyed his team, and he loved his teammates. Just a great kid.”

Now an assistant coach at Langston Hughes, White said he was told by a parent of another Creekside player that Turman was making what appeared to be a routine tackle when he was injured.

Turman, a 5’11, 164 pound cornerback, had a scholarship offer from University of Kentucky, according to 247Sports and others.

“He was definitely a D-1 corner, no question,” White said. “He started getting a whole bunch of looks. Offers were coming in.”

Glenn Ford, Turman’s coach with the iDareU training program in Atlanta, also said Turman, 16, had an offer to play football at UK.

“He was a good kid, an outstanding football player, and loved his parents,” said Ford. “He lost his mom a year ago, but persevered through everything and loved the game he died for. He will be missed.”

Details regarding Turman’s injuries were not released. An autopsy is expected to be conducted by the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office.

GHSA executive director Ralph Swearngin learned of Turman’s death from a reporter Saturday morning. He expressed sympathy for the family.

“Any kind of death of an adolescent, it’s a tragedy,” Swearngin said. “As a father and grandfather, it strikes you personally.”

The last time a Georgia football player died as the result of an injury or collision occurred in 2009 at Cook High School in Adel. Running back Roy White died after being tackled and hit in the chest during spring practice. Swearngin said he could not recall another student athlete death as a result of injury or collision in the past 10 years.

Swearngin said that it was routine for the GHSA to look into the circumstances that led to the player’s death in hopes of limiting the chances of another tragedy.

”We’ll try to analyze if things can be be avoided,” Swearngin said. “Unfortunately, life has risks, and we’re constantly trying to limit those.”

Please return for updates.

Staff Reporter Alexis Stevens contributed to this story.

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