’22 OL was among Kentucky’s best and brightest
We covered Landon many times over the years and felt like we traveled his incredible journey, as both a middle and then high school football star, with him up until he signed with Fairmont State to play college football. Landon was home preparing to join a new team at Union University when he was taken from all of us by senseless tragedy. There is a hole left vacant in the hearts of #Brotherhood today that will never be completely filled.Fletcher Long, Director of Scouting, KPGFootball
“I mean, there are the standard things one says to a mother mourning the loss of her son, but I’ll tell you; I don’t even know what to say.” Those were the words spoken to us over the phone when we talked with Kentucky Future Stars Director, Ricco Hughes, from his Louisville home just this morning.
Ricco Hughes is the architect of a football playing community across the commonwealth of Kentucky referenced, on line, with the hashtag Brotherhood. Players from the NFL; to the FBS, power 5; to all levels of high school, college, and even professional football hearken to its call.
It is like the “Bat Signal.” It calls us to the aid of each other.
Landon Nokes numbered among the fraternity’s roster. He is lost. We will never fully recover from it.
Killed in what news agencies described as a crash taking place at 4 a.m., Sunday, at the intersection of South Hurstbourne Parkway and Fegenbush Lane. The police have arrested the northbound driver of the pick-up truck who, reportedly inebriated, crashed into oncoming traffic resulting in Nokes’ death. The repercussions for this, and the appropriate justice to be administered, are both matters for the authorities.
One thing is certain. No amount of punishment will bring back our Brother to us.
As to what to say to Landon’s mother…we are afraid we were as lost for words as our esteemed brother and colleague, Ricco Hughes. We would offer the below, the writing of which somewhat comforted us and which we hope delivers some comfort to you, the readers.
There is an order of Catholicism which subscribes to the belief God takes us when we are closest to Him; when we have our best opportunity for eternal salvation. Billy Joel memorialized this sentiment with his song, “Only the Good Die Young.”
This belief didn’t originate with Catholicism. It predates the birth of Christ by centuries.
The origin of the sentiment, according to Belllinda Dsouza, Chief Growth Officer at Finance Tech, and author of the article published December 3, 2020 entitled, “Only the good die young,” dates to around 445 B.C. It comes to us from Ancient Greek mythology.
Cydippe, a priestess in the temple of goddess, Hera, was to attend a festival. However, the oxen that were to carry her to the festival were not to be found.
Cydippe sought the help of her young sons – Cleobis and Biton. Eager to help their mother, they yoked themselves to the cart and pulled it all the way to the festival. They covered close to five (5) miles.
Impressed with their strength and devotion to her, Cydippe prayed to Hera to reward her young sons with the greatest gift that a celestial might give a mortal. Her prayer was answered.
Cleobis and Biton fell asleep in the temple and never awakened. That was the gift.
Hera bestowed on the sons the gift of death. You see, death at one’s moment of highest glory and adulation was the best reward a god could bestow on humanity. This was a prevailing belief at the time.
Victorian poet, A.E. Housman, discussed the very same sentiment in his poem from his bestselling collection of poems entitled, Shropshire Lad. The poem, “To an athlete dying young,” was published in 1896, and focused on a funeral held for an athlete who departed this earthly life before he had outrun his renown, before the cheer of the crowd had eternally faded.
“Now you will not swell the rout/Of lads that wore their honours out,/Runners whom renown outran/And the name died before the man.” Houseman, Shropshire Lad, from “To an athlete dying young,” 1896.
Landon Nokes was a fine athlete. He was covered by this particular publication many times over the years.
We first wrote about him when reporting the rosters for the 7th and 8th-grade Kentucky-Tennessee Future Stars Classic on May 6, 2018. He played very well in the game, a matter we also reported on June 18, 2018.
He was a fine football player. We were privileged to walk that path with him, his friends, his teammates, his family, and this #Brotherhood.
However, fame and glory do not last an eternity. Yet, he has been afforded the gift of getting to go to his ultimate reward young enough for his fame and glory to still be omnipresent upon the minds of fans, teammates, friends, family, and brothers.
Landon Nokes has been taken from us. We will never get over it, we will never be able to fill the resultant void.
In answer to Coach Hughes, we can’t give you the words, and would, were we able. All we can do is tell you what we have above written together with the following…
He was damn fine football player. He was a damn fine human being. He was a damn fine teammate. He was a damn fine brother. Yet, much more than all of that… he was beautiful.
Rest in peace, Brother. Put down your heavy yoke and refresh yourself beside still waters. We will all be up to see you after while.
This is Coach HB Lyon, reporting for KPGFootball, and we’re JUST CALLING IT LIKE WE SEE IT!
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