Iberia

Sep 28, 2012 8:10 PM by Maddie Garrett

Coaches Remember Derek Olivier On and Off the Field

A recent graduate from New Iberia Senior High School, killed in a shooting near his college in Arkansas, is remembered for his character on and off the football field. Derek Olivier's former coaches said he was a talented athlete with great potential, someone they had high hopes for.

"Just a kid who loved life, had an infectious smile always made the room light up when he came in, always had a joke to tell, or just came with a great attitude every day," said Rick Hutson, New Iberia Senior High School Football Coach.

Olivier's coaches said the football field was a place where the young athlete truly shined.

"What made him so good, he had work ethics, he just overall was a good kid," said Jeanerette Senior High School Coach Ananias Johnson, Jr.

But on the very field where he influenced so many in New Iberia, those same teammates found out about his death.

"Last night when our team found out about it, just, everybody broke down. He was very popular with the whole team and even people that may not have been essentially close to him knew what affect he had on other people and it was a very sad moment last night," said Hutson.

It was especially sad for Jeanerette High School Coach Ananias Johnson. Jr., who knew Olivier and his family personally, and also recruited him to play football at Arkansas Baptist College.

"He really helped himself because when I saw him on film he stood out and I knew he was a hard worker because his dad coached me," said Johnson.

Johnson said he's still in shock, and is saddened by the loss of a young man who had so much potential.

"We always think like, why so the good ones have to go? And he was a good one," said Johnson.

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