New Kent players honor teammate Jacob Vick

New Kent football players observe a moment of silence at the spot teammate Jacob Vick collapsed during practice Tuesday, before returning to practice Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013. (submitted photo / / November 1, 2013)

Some people wondered aloud whether New Kent High's football players would want to continue their season, or play on Friday, after starting linebacker Jacob Vick died on Tuesday of unknown causes shortly after collapsing during practice.

None of them wear the Trojans' royal blue and white.

New Kent athletic director Julie Ellis said that the decision was left up to the football players and that they voted unanimously on Wednesday to play Friday at Bruton.

"There was never any question in their minds of not playing, because they feel it's what Jacob would want and reflects the kind of person he was," Ellis said. "Jacob never stopped working and he's someone you could always count on.

"He might not have always stood out, because he was humble and never got out of line. But he was the smartest and the hardest working kid."

Ellis said the Trojans returned to practice on Thursday in preparation for the Bruton game. She said that both teams will wear Vick's No. 50 jersey number on their helmets, thanks to stickers produced by Williamsburg Graphics.

Bruton coach Tracy Harrod said his team is honored to do so.

"We're doing it because we love football and the football fraternity is a close one," Harrod said. "We want to show respect to his family and the New Kent football program and let them know that we understand."

The teams will observe a moment of silence prior to kickoff. Then they will play the game in Vick's honor, something Ellis is happy the Trojans have decided to do.

"Jacob was the kind of kid who always moved forward and would never want them to quit," Ellis said. "We (coaches and administrators) don't want them to either."

O'Brien can be reached by phone at 757-247-4963