TERRE HAUTE —
Braves and Patriots alike cheered in unison as a former Vigo County student-athlete was honored for his service.
The annual North-South football game was prefaced Saturday night by a ceremony honoring fallen Terre Haute Police officer Brent Long, amid a capacity crowd at Memorial Stadium. A 1996 graduate of Terre Haute South Vigo High School, Long played football for the Braves.
But at 6:45 p.m., all involved were fans of the family, as Long’s widow Danielle was presented a Braves jersey with the his badge number “208” emblazoned across.
The jersey will hang in Terre Haute South Vigo High School, officials said.
Police Chief John Plasse, a former Patriot football player himself, said he had no team leanings that evening.
“It’s all for Brent,” he said. “I’m looking forward to a good, hard-nosed football game and hopefully no injuries.”
Plasse said he remembers working with Long on the department’s Special Response Team and described him as extremely active.
“He was always a go-getter and I think that relates to sports as well,” he said, adding the continued support for Long’s family since his death in July has been “amazing.”
In addition to the jersey, Danielle and her children were presented with tokens from each of the Vigo County School Corp.’s five high schools, including a Braves letter jacket. Students throughout the corporation raised $3,000 to contribute to a fund for a statue dedicated to Long and his K-9 partner Shadow.
Mayor Duke Bennett said the statue’s location has yet to be determined and the project is still in the planning stages. Cost for the project could be as much as $25,000, but that too is still under discussion.
“It’s coming in pretty good,” he said of the contributions to date.
Brian Boyce can be reached at 812-231-4253 or firstname.lastname@example.org.