Statesboro coach remembers service member killed in Afghanistan

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YOUNG CHESTER MCBRIDE_79169

The Statesboro community is grieving the loss of Chester McBride tonight. McBride was among United States military killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan on Monday night. One of McBride’s high school football coaches spoke on the player and person he was.

“It took me aback, as I’m sure it has everyone in this community, because of the fact that this has been going on for years, but it’s the fact that this is the first time that it’s hit close to home,” Coach Steve Pennington says of McBride’s death.

McBride played for the Blue Devils as a defensive back from 1999 to 2003, when he graduated. He played junior varsity football until his junior and senior years, when he advanced to the varsity team.

“He valued work ethic, and he valued teamwork,” Pennington says, “but the biggest thing I think, one thing that I remember about him, is his quietness. I believe he was a person who observed life itself. He had great compassion for others, and he wanted to do well.”

Pennington recently received a visit from McBride, as he was on leave. McBride spoke to the current football team in October, motivating them to do well.

“He really shared a lot of things that he had learned since his days at Statesboro High School, and you could see the confidence he was exuding…and he really had a care about people, by evidence of what he was doing,” Pennington says.

One of the things Pennington says McBride leaves behind is his legacy of never retreating.

“One of Chester’s great attributes is that he dug deeper and fought harder to overcome his mistakes, and I think that’s a quality that will certainly be everlasting here at Statesboro High School,” he says.

Principal Ken LeCain released this statement on McBride’s passing:

“The entire Blue Devil family was extremely saddened by the news of the passing of Chester McBride. I will always remember him as a young man of high character with a great smile. Chester made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. I consider myself fortunate to have worked closely with Chester as a student and an athlete. We were fortunate to have Chester visit the school and address our athletes in October. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”

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