Coach & Teammate of St. Frances Remembering Lamar Patterson’s Legacy – CBS Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WJZ) – Lamar Patterson is on her way to St. Frances, where he is a prominent student and athlete, on the morning of February 2 when a collision with a train took his lifejust a month before his 18th birthday.

The sudden passing of such a promising individual devastated his family and everyone who had ever known Patterson. His teammates and coaches at St. Frances was surprised, and they were still trying to fill the void he left.

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It was a huge blow for Dashawn Womack, a St. Frances, who always knew Patterson let friends and loved ones know where he was, and that he returned home safe and sound.

“He came up to me and he said, ‘Okay man, I’m gone. I’ll hit you when I’m in the crib,” Womack said. “And he hit (me up) when he got in there because he’ll always tell you when he gets to safety.”

Messay Hailemariam, head football coach of St. Frances, unable to fully process her loss, contacted Patterson’s mother, Maxine, with a message that no parent wanted to receive.

“I just lost it,” Hailemariam told WJZ’s Nicole Baker.

But, he said, Patterson’s mother gave him strength in that moment. So are Patterson’s 22 angels.

“He got through 2-2-22,” Hailemariam said. “Then the night before, he actually got his 22nd offer to get into college for free.”

His coach said Patterson sent an inspirational message to his team at 2:11 a.m. that day.

“And it was 2:11, 22 in total,” Hailemariam said. “He wore the number 22 shirt during the (team) photo shoot,” even though it’s not the number he wears on the pitch.

Hailemariam said Patterson recently got a tattoo on his arm depicting a stairway to heaven. He said it was in memory of Patterson’s deceased brother, who passed away in the spring of 2021.

“It’s the kid you want your son to be friends with and your daughter to marry,” the coach said.

If you ask Coach Hailemariam, he’ll tell you it’s God’s thing.

“Little did I know that 10 years ago, he (God) would take me to a place where he was preparing me to fulfill my purpose again,” Hailemariam said.

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There’s a thing about purpose, it positions you for your divine mission, the coach said. For him, it was a football game in Florida that gave him a son he never had.

Under Hailemariam’s coaching, the St. Frances had gone from being a weakling to being a force to be reckoned with. The program attracts some of the best student-athletes in the world, Patterson included.

“I met (him) the real thing in seventh grade, coaching an all-star game, the Under Armor game,” Hailemariam recalls. “He was already in the stands and he approached me. … And his first thing was, “So I just wanted to let you know that I’m going to be in St. Frances.”

St. Frances is where Patterson spent his last three years, preparing for college and pursuing his dream of one day playing in the NFL.

“He would be the first to get to the top of the hill and he would come back, ‘I finna make this city mine. I own this city. Florida boy from the cradle. ‘ That’s how he would quote it. “Go to Baltimore, make it mine,” the coach said.

For those of Patterson’s friends, like Womack, his memory won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

“I always mention his name in anything and everything I do,” says Womack. “I just want to make sure everyone knows that yes, it’s my brother.”

The same goes for Hailemariam, who can’t help but wait for Patterson to show up.

“You know, sometimes I hope he walks through the door, or he’s on the field.”

The Patterson family released the following statement to WJZ:

We would like to take this moment to thank everyone for the tremendous love and support we have received and continue to receive for Lamar. Lamar is not only a star athlete but also a smart, respectful and charismatic young man who is loved and admired by many. Lamar Patterson is a young star athlete from Kissimmee, FL passionate about football. His work ethic and dedication to perfecting the craft brought him to St. Francis’ Academy in Baltimore, where his talent shined.

Lamar’s impact on so many lives was started by his mother’s courage to allow him to spread his wings. As a family, we will continue to love and honor Lamar and keep his legacy alive. Although the flesh is no longer present with us, Lamar’s spirit will forever be in our hearts. We would like to continue to pray for us, his family and friends as we endure this difficult time.

Live like Lamar… ..Believe It, Go For It, Do It!

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https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2022/02/14/st-frances-academy-coach-teammates-remember-lamar-pattersons-legacy/ Coach & Teammate of St. Frances Remembering Lamar Patterson’s Legacy – CBS Baltimore

Dustin Huang

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