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Former Simeon football player found shot to death in Michigan

Demarius Reed playing for Simegame against  Mount Carmel Soldier Field 2010.

Demarius Reed playing for Simeon in a game against Mount Carmel at Soldier Field in 2010.

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Updated: November 20, 2013 6:11AM

Just like when they were teammates at Simeon, Darius Scott wore No. 1 for the Eastern Michigan University football team and Demarius Reed wore No. 2.

“Every time I close my eyes, all I can see is No. 1 and No. 2 lining up on the field,” said Dennis Butler, Simeon’s assistant head coach and defensive coordinator. “That will never change.”

But the Simeon football program was in mourning Friday after Reed was found shot to death. Reed’s body was found at an off-campus apartment several blocks north of the Eastern Michigan campus. Reed, 20, suffered multiple gunshot wounds, Ypsilanti, Mich., police said in a statement.

Some of Reed’s belongings were missing. Robbery is suspected as a possible motive, police said.

Friday night’s football game against Foreman was the last thing on the mind of Simeon coach Dante Culbreath, who received a call from Scott at 9 a.m. informing him of Reed’s death. Culbreath was visibly shaken while being interviewed.

A 5-foot-10, 160-pound wide receiver, Reed was rated as Illinois’ 43rd-best prospect while at Simeon. He earned first-team All-State and All-City honors. Reed also had started all six games for Eastern Michigan this year, catching 15 passes for 185 yards and a touchdown.

“He was such a great kid,” Culbreath said of Reed. “He did everything the right way, on and off the field. He knew what he wanted and he set out to get it done.

“I have been sitting at this desk in a locked room all day. I know I have to pull myself together for the sake of the team. These kids looked up to him so much. He would come back and work out with them; was a real mentor and a big brother.”

Demani Reed, Demarius’ younger brother, is one of those team members ­— a freshman who plays on the Simeon varsity football team.

“My brother was my hero. He was always there for me,” Demani Reed said. “I knew if I followed his path, I was going to be OK.”

Demarius’ father, Carl Reed, worries about his children growing up in the city.
“Demarius was my firstborn of my six children,” he said. “I was so certain he was safe and in a good place, in college, playing ball on a campus environment outside of Chicago. I never, ever expected something like this to happen.”

Culbreath acknowledged that facing these tragedies has become far too commonplace. He also pointed to Reed’s character.

“He was one of the leaders of my first class when I took over as head coach, so there’s a special bond,” Culbreath said. “You tell a kid to hit the books, stay out of trouble, go to school ... and this happens.

“He did what he was supposed to do and his life is still cut way too short. I feel like he was my responsibility and I failed him.”

Francine Knowles

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