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Al Lucas

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April 17, 2005 | Steve Springer, Times Staff Writer
In a gymnasium on a hill overlooking the Northeast High football field where Al Lucas became a local star, this city came Saturday afternoon to bid its favorite son a fond farewell. They came around 1,000 strong for a service of nearly two hours to honor Lucas, who died at 26 in an Arena League football game at Staples Center last Sunday. Playing for the Avengers, Lucas died of an apparent spinal cord injury while making a tackle on a kickoff return against the New York Dragons.
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SPORTS
May 7, 2006 | Lonnie White, Times Staff Writer
A little more than a year ago, the Avengers' Al Lucas died as a result of a spinal cord injury suffered in an Arena Football League game against the New York Dragons at Staples Center. Nothing has been the same since, for his family or the team. "We've tried to make it into a positive thing, rather than a negative thing, but you never get over losing a kid because, really, they're supposed to be seeing about your final rights," said David Lucas, Al's father. "Not you, seeing about theirs."
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SPORTS
April 12, 2005 | Chris Foster, Times Staff Writer
A state of disbelief stretched from Los Angeles to Macon, Ga., a day after Avenger lineman Al Lucas died during an Arena Football League game. His family in Georgia and teammates at the Avenger practice site at West Los Angeles College tried to cope with emotions brought on by the tragedy, while team and league officials sought to understand what happened and look for ways to help provide for Lucas' wife and daughter.
SPORTS
August 28, 2005 | From Associated Press
Al Lucas never forgot where he came from. Even after he went off to play pro football, Northeast High School kept pulling him home. Lucas filled in as a substitute teacher, a mountain of a man who strolled the halls in designer suits, epitomizing success and providing hope to a downtrodden neighborhood in desperate need of both.
SPORTS
April 15, 2005 | Steve Springer, Times Staff Writer
Al Lucas is all over Northeast High this week, in the halls he walked, the classrooms he studied and later taught in, in his cherished weight room. His likeness is on television screens, hangs from the necks of students and is displayed on a special handout. His name, uttered in hushed tones, can be heard in outpourings of grief, prayers and stories.
SPORTS
May 27, 2005 | Chris Foster
An autopsy has determined that Avenger lineman Al Lucas died of blunt force trauma to his upper spinal cord, Brenda Shafer, a spokesman for the coroner's office, said Thursday. Lucas, 26, suffered the injury while making a tackle on a kickoff during an April 10 Avenger game against the New York Dragons at Staples Center. He was carried from the field on a stretcher and was pronounced dead at California Hospital Medical Center a short time later.
SPORTS
April 14, 2005 | Chris Foster, Times Staff Writer
Plans to honor Avenger lineman Al Lucas and to help his family were announced Wednesday, when players and staff paused to remember him with a private memorial attended by the Lucas family. The Avengers held a memorial service for Lucas, who died of an apparent spinal cord injury while making a tackle on a kickoff return during Sunday's game, and heard David Lucas, his father, and De'Shondra Lucas, his wife. "They told us that Al would want us to move on with our lives," Coach Ed Hodgkiss said.
SPORTS
May 7, 2006 | Lonnie White, Times Staff Writer
A little more than a year ago, the Avengers' Al Lucas died as a result of a spinal cord injury suffered in an Arena Football League game against the New York Dragons at Staples Center. Nothing has been the same since, for his family or the team. "We've tried to make it into a positive thing, rather than a negative thing, but you never get over losing a kid because, really, they're supposed to be seeing about your final rights," said David Lucas, Al's father. "Not you, seeing about theirs."
SPORTS
April 13, 2005 | Chris Foster, Times Staff Writer
Avenger players returned to football Tuesday, remembering Al Lucas and carrying with them the words of his father. "He told us that it was a tragedy that he had to be here today, but that there was still a practice to go to, still a game to be played," kicker Remy Hamilton said. "He said that Al would have wanted us to go on." David Lucas, a state representative in Georgia, came to California to take his son home.
SPORTS
April 19, 2005 | Chris Foster, Times Staff Writer
Two football teams filed into the Civic Auditorium here Monday, with noticeable differences and one distinct similarity -- Al Lucas. The Avengers, wearing suits and ties, arrived in an air-conditioned bus with reclining bucket seats. The Northeast High football team, clad in game jerseys, rolled up in a super-sized school bus, one of those big yellow beasts, outfitted with vinyl bench seating.
SPORTS
May 27, 2005 | Chris Foster
An autopsy has determined that Avenger lineman Al Lucas died of blunt force trauma to his upper spinal cord, Brenda Shafer, a spokesman for the coroner's office, said Thursday. Lucas, 26, suffered the injury while making a tackle on a kickoff during an April 10 Avenger game against the New York Dragons at Staples Center. He was carried from the field on a stretcher and was pronounced dead at California Hospital Medical Center a short time later.
SPORTS
April 19, 2005 | Chris Foster, Times Staff Writer
Two football teams filed into the Civic Auditorium here Monday, with noticeable differences and one distinct similarity -- Al Lucas. The Avengers, wearing suits and ties, arrived in an air-conditioned bus with reclining bucket seats. The Northeast High football team, clad in game jerseys, rolled up in a super-sized school bus, one of those big yellow beasts, outfitted with vinyl bench seating.
SPORTS
April 18, 2005 | Chris Foster, Times Staff Writer
There was no escaping Al Lucas' presence in what became a disappointing day for the Avengers. Lucas' locker was transported east, becoming a monument for his teammates at the Gaylord Entertainment Center. A moment of silence in tribute to Lucas, who died during last Sunday's game, started the Avengers' day, and a tough 51-48 loss to Nashville ended it. His No. 76 was all over the field, on the helmets of each player and on the back of Avenger lineman Silas Demary, who wore Lucas' jersey.
SPORTS
April 17, 2005 | Steve Springer, Times Staff Writer
In a gymnasium on a hill overlooking the Northeast High football field where Al Lucas became a local star, this city came Saturday afternoon to bid its favorite son a fond farewell. They came around 1,000 strong for a service of nearly two hours to honor Lucas, who died at 26 in an Arena League football game at Staples Center last Sunday. Playing for the Avengers, Lucas died of an apparent spinal cord injury while making a tackle on a kickoff return against the New York Dragons.
SPORTS
April 16, 2005 | David Wharton, Times Staff Writer
Todd Hart never had any qualms about his son playing high school football. Not once did they talk about the possibility of a serious injury. "Never even came up," the San Juan Capistrano father said. Then he added: "I know that sounds strange." It sounds strange because, in 1982, Hart was playing defensive back for Long Beach State when a violent collision with two other players left him slumped face down on the field. He has been in a wheelchair ever since.
SPORTS
April 15, 2005 | Steve Springer, Times Staff Writer
Al Lucas is all over Northeast High this week, in the halls he walked, the classrooms he studied and later taught in, in his cherished weight room. His likeness is on television screens, hangs from the necks of students and is displayed on a special handout. His name, uttered in hushed tones, can be heard in outpourings of grief, prayers and stories.
SPORTS
February 13, 2004 | Gary Klein, Times Staff Writer
Al Lucas wasted no time impressing his new employer. The 6-foot-1, 300-pound lineman recorded a sack and generally disrupted the Arizona Rattlers' entire offense in the Avengers' 51-32 season-opening victory Sunday at Phoenix. After a practice this week, Lucas said he was just getting started.
SPORTS
April 12, 2005 | Helene Elliott, Times Staff Writer
There is no blueprint to follow when the playing field becomes a place of death, as it did Sunday at Staples Center for Avenger lineman Al Lucas. "There's no manual on this," said Casey Wasserman, owner of the Arena Football League team. "It's a tough thing. There's lots of emotion involved. "We sort of set the precedent for team sports. I think we did everything we should have done and made the best decision with the information we had, with the player and his family foremost in our minds."
SPORTS
April 14, 2005 | Chris Foster, Times Staff Writer
Plans to honor Avenger lineman Al Lucas and to help his family were announced Wednesday, when players and staff paused to remember him with a private memorial attended by the Lucas family. The Avengers held a memorial service for Lucas, who died of an apparent spinal cord injury while making a tackle on a kickoff return during Sunday's game, and heard David Lucas, his father, and De'Shondra Lucas, his wife. "They told us that Al would want us to move on with our lives," Coach Ed Hodgkiss said.
SPORTS
April 13, 2005 | Chris Foster, Times Staff Writer
Avenger players returned to football Tuesday, remembering Al Lucas and carrying with them the words of his father. "He told us that it was a tragedy that he had to be here today, but that there was still a practice to go to, still a game to be played," kicker Remy Hamilton said. "He said that Al would have wanted us to go on." David Lucas, a state representative in Georgia, came to California to take his son home.
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