FAIRBURN, Ga. -- Students at Creekside High School returned to school today for the first time since they suddenly lost a classmate.
De'Antre Turman died Friday from injuries suffered while making a tackle during a football scrimmage.
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Turman's guardian for the past six years spoke today with 11Alive's Matt Pearl.
"A beautiful spirit is who TreTre was," said Tarsha Keller.
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It was tragedy that first brought Turman to Keller. A then ten-year-old Turman lost his mother, and Keller's family offered to become his guardians.
"The dream was to get the college education on the athletic scholarship," said Keller, "and he was definitely on the path to do that."
Now, tragedy has struck again. During a scrimmage Friday night, Tre-Tre went to make a tackle and broke a vertebra. He lost his life that night.
In the first day of school since the incident, Fulton County sent grief counselors to Creekside High School and several others in the area. Many students wore black in memory of their fallen classmate.
"First period, you could see it," said Creekside principal Ronald Maxwell. "As they walk in, you know how normally they're talking? It was quiet. And then you start seeing the kids cry."
Since his death, Turman has become a national story. In the past few days, his family has received Tweets of condolence from Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones as well as Chad Johnson.
But on this day, his guardians preferred to focus on his accomplishments off the field. Turman had faced tremendous adversity as a child but was growing into a mature young man until this tragedy cost him his life.
Said Keller, "That gives me comfort to know that his mother graciously allowed me to borrow him, and now she wanted him back."
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