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Nederland football graduates remember soldier who died while serving overseas
NEDERLAND-By: Leslie Rangel
An Army officer was preparing to meet with family members of Sergeant Anthony Maddox this afternoon to begin planning his funeral.
Yesterday KFDM News spoke with the Sergeant's mother and stepfather today.
Former teammates at Nederland High School who shared their thoughts about Maddox.
They consider themselves his other family his football family.
Maddox was a lineman and linebacker for the Nederland Bulldogs.
Friends say he approached football the same way he approached his job as a soldier, with energy and passion to do his best.
This is his jersey, he was number 26, that was his number, his team mate Logan Hebert explains.
"He was real quiet but was a mad animal on the football field when he put that helmet on, he became a whole other guy," Hebert says.
They called him 'Mad Dog', for his passion during the games.
Delbert Spell, the defensive coordinator at Nederland High School ways he was tough kid and played hard, especially when it came to training.
"I do remember him not missing any workouts, weight room, or on the field, just great kid to coach," Spell says.
"He liked to do arms a lot, he said curls for the girls," Hebert remebers as he quietly laughs.
But Mad Dog's teammates say his legacy extends beyond the football field.
"Just like a brother, you know somone you could run and talk to if you had anything heavy on your heart or on your mind," Zach Atterberry says, remembering they were best friends.
"We're just close knit brothers here," Hebert says.
They were brothers, friends, a family all linked by their love of football.
"They get to be like your son after a while, you go through so much, you go through so many things with them, highs and lows," Spell says.
Atterberry says they were together for the last time in January during the holiday break. It was just before he left to serve in Afghanistan.
"He told everybody that you know this could be the last time you see me and it never really clicked," Atterberry says.
Sergeant Maddox died Monday in Germany, from burns linked to a fueling accident in Afghanistan. He was only 22.
"I wish we could kind of go back and replay all that because it was one of the best times of our life," Hebert says.
Spell, his coach says if he could tell him one last thing it would be I love you.
Nederland head football coach Larry Neumann says he's making plan's to retire Maddox's jersey and dedicate a football game to him.