NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - There is not much more of a bigger honor for an SFA football player then to be selected to wear the No. 16 jersey one time during the season.
The 16 jersey was worn by Cally Belcher. Belcher died days after suffering a serious head injury at a SFA spring practice in 1994. For the past five seasons, SFA has selected a player to wear the 16 jersey one time during the season. At Wednesday night’s Golden Axe Awards, linebacker Quinn Jones was selected to wear the jersey at one of three possible 2019 home games.
“Being selected for that award and that characteristic behind the award, the leadership on and off the field,and being accountable for the next man beside you just meant the world to me. I am going to try my best to hold it to that honor and represent it the right way."
“We do this because he means something," teammate Chad Kelly said in a previous KTRE story. "You don’t forget the great ones. He had the “it” factor. He was the heart of our team.”
Kelly and others founded the 16 Club. The group raises money through various events for head trauma research and for a memorial scholarship.
“This was a head of his time,” Kelly said. “He was one of the first to die from head trauma and the work that SFA has done is amazing on this front to help us find a solution.”
Jones was able to meet Belcher’s mother Helen at the ceremony and will stand by her one more time on the field at Homer Bryce Stadium in the fall.
“It is heartwarming to see his classmates and the kids that go to school here now to see the legacy," Helen said. “He was our only child so it is special.”