DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. (WMBB) — The Walton football team rallied behind teammate, Hoss Doss after the passing of his father.
Friday, November 3, marked the final regular season game for the Walton Braves, as they looked to notch a 10-0 record. But that night, the Braves were playing for a lot more.
“I feel like he was here and he was looking over,” Walton head football coach Keith White said. “He was looking up from high and it was a special moment for Hoss.”
Walton junior left guard, Hoss Doss lost his father just five days before the game. His father, Freddy Lee Doss suffered a major heart attack. After his passing on Sunday, Doss was back at practice Tuesday afternoon.
“When we were in a locker room getting dressed, I tried not to think about it,” Doss said. “I tried to think just straight football, but I came out here and I looked in the stands and he wasn’t there.”
For Freddy Lee Doss, watching his son play football was always a priority.
“He never missed a single game in my life since I was five years old,” Doss said. “He was there every single game. He was my number one fan and he was my number one supporter.”
While his father wasn’t physically sitting in the stands on November 3, his presence was felt.
“We should have had more points,” White said. “I just happened to look at the scoreboard to see what it was, it was his number, it was number 54. And for us to miss an extra point, and a two-point conversion, and a field goal, and we got to the three-yard line and didn’t even get a touchdown.”
Coach White even put Doss in the backfield for a goal-line carry and the play resulted in a fumble. At the end of the night, it seemed like destiny that the number 54, Hoss’s number would finish the game on the scoreboard.
“We didn’t get any points out of that,” White said. “But then to look up in the fourth quarter and to see his number up there, you just can’t make it up.”
While Doss is working through not having his biggest supporter in the stands, he has peace knowing that his father is always with him.
“I mean, truly, it just makes me want to play harder,” Doss said. “It makes me stronger because I know he’s still watching. I know he would love to see me play harder and harder each day.”
The loss of his father comes just 91 days after his mother’s passing. Coach White said Hoss is one of the strongest young men that he has ever met.
The Braves earned the one seed in the Class 2 Suburban Region One bracket and will host rival South Walton in the region quarterfinal on Friday, November 10.