Four days after the death of his father, College Park running back unites a community

Dylon DeAngelo’s story is one of resilience and strength

Watch this story from KPRC 2 Sports Sunday.

HOUSTON – Thanksgiving week, The Woodlands College Park senior Dylon DeAngelo unexpectedly lost his best friend.

“My dad was a very passionate man,” said Dylon of his father Tony. “He was always the first to tell me to do what I need to do, make sure whatever I put my mind to, I have to go through with it.”

Understandably, Dylon was in a state of shock and grief. He took that Tuesday and Wednesday off, rejoining the team for practice on Thanksgiving.

That Friday, The Woodlands College Park was set to play their rival, The Woodlands. That particular game had always been Tony DeAngelo’s favorite match-ups to watch his son play in; so Dylon knew what to do.

“I know exactly the words my dad would say; ‘Just because I passed doesn’t mean you should let your team suffer without you. You’ve been pushing yourself so hard to achieve what you want to achieve and what this team’s been wanting to achieve, you have to get on that field and play for your team,’” Dylon said.

When Friday night rolled around, Dylon suited up, just as he knew his dad would want. He sat out the first half, until he felt emotionally ready to take the field.

“We were kind of taking it little by little,” said head coach Lonnie Madison. “And then at halftime we kind of discussed and felt like he was ready.”

Under the Friday night lights, Dylon could feel the spirit of his dad telling him it was time.

“During that first half I was watching and I felt that my dad said ‘You need to get in, you need to set the tone,’ because it was back and forth,” said Dylon.

And set the tone he did, with two minutes left in the game as his team trailed by three.

“I said ‘watch for the backside cut and just get the first down,’ and he hit the cut and scored, ” explained quarterback Hank Hudson.

Dylon’s teammates lifted him up in the air; he had scored the game-winning touchdown.

“I broke down,” said Dylon. “It was very emotional. It was a very high point for me and my dad.”

Dylon’s teammates had loved his dad Tony, too. He served as coach for many of them growing up in Little League. He was the dad always waiting in the tunnel after the games. As Dylon scored, the energy and love could be felt in the stands and on the field.

“It’s so inspirational to see him come out there and just do it for our team,” said Hudson. “It was special.”

“It’s like a story-book ending to that football game,” said Madison.

“Putting one in for my father and putting in one for this team, for this family... it really meant everything to me,” said Dylon.