For the Bastrop Rams, Friday night's first round playoff game against New Orleans McDonogh #35 was an opportunity to take a break from reality.
For the Bastrop Rams, Friday night's first round playoff game against New Orleans McDonogh #35 was an opportunity to take a break from reality. Still, it was hard to focus on football after Bastrop High junior Quaterrius Brooks lost his life in an automobile accident Thursday night.
Brooks, who was a passenger in the single car crash, was reportedly pronounced dead at the scene at approximately 9 p.m. The cause of the wreck remains under investigation. According to Bastrop junior left offensive tackle Carterius Johnson, Brooks and his brother, Derrick Lee, were on their way to visit their grandmother.
For Johnson in particular, Brooks' loss really hit home. Both are from Mer Rouge and attended school together since kindergarten.
"We've known each other for as long as I can remember," Johnson said. "We went to school together and we lived in the same neighborhood."
Word of Brooks' death spread quickly.
"Someone called my mom and told her about it last night just as I was trying to go to sleep," Johnson said Friday night after the Rams' 44-18 victory.
Needless to say, Johnson was too shocked to sleep after the phone call.
"I tried my best to get some sleep," Johnson said. "I didn't get to sleep until about 5 o'clock and I had to get up at 6. I've been thinking about it all day."
Brooks played football at Delta Junior High. Though he never played for the Rams, he had many friends on the team.
"Two of my players called sobbing almost immediately after it happened," Bastrop coach Adrian Burnette said.
Burnette and Bastrop High Principal Chris Broussard met with members of the football team individually early Friday morning and later addressed the entire student body at the pep rally.
In honor of Brooks, the Rams placed jersey No. 20 (he was a member of the Class of 2020) behind their bench.
"We dedicated the game to Quaterrius Brooks," Burnette said. "This one was for him."
Even during the game, Johnson's thoughts were on his friend.
"He was on my mind, but you still have to focus on playing football," Johnson said. "The game gave me a chance to get my mind off of it for a little while."
The shock will eventually wear off, but Johnson will never forget his friend and the good times they had through the years.
"Quaterrius was funny," Johnson said, smiling for perhaps the first time all day. "There was never a dull moment when he was around."