Clemson’s Dabo Swinney praised Louisiana Tech’s letters to the Brice family


The scoreboard showed Clemson beat Louisiana Tech 48-20 on Saturday, but the away game prompted Tigers coach Dabo Swinney to call the Tech players a “class team.”

Clemson defensive tackle Brian Bracey, who played at Damascus (Md.) High School with each hand, wrote a letter to Brian Bracey, who lost the game after his 15-year-old sister Ella died from medulloblastoma, the most common form of brain cancer in children. Speaking to the media after the game, Sweeney brought the letterbox to the podium, calling the sign “a great thing” and saying he would always be a fan of Bulldogs coach Sonny Cumbie.

“I didn’t know Sonny Kumi, but he has a new fan in me forever.” Swinney said after the game.. “Class guy. Class act. His whole football team. … You know what, it makes my heart smile in this competitive world to have guys like Sonny Cumbies and the La. Tech crowd. Class team.”

Before the game, Cumby wore an “E11a Strong” T-shirt and gave Swinney his own letter to Bracey. The youngster’s fightback has been a boost for the Tigers, who are 3-0 and ranked fifth nationally.

Bracey announced last week that the younger sister he called “my why” had died, paying tribute to her spirit and strength. “My beautiful sister Ella, I was amazed every day by the struggle you endured and how happy you were constantly in this battle. I never thought I’d be sitting here today saying goodbye to you. I want to thank you for bringing happiness not only to me but to many people. You are the best sister I could ask for brother and I know for a fact that heaven got a beautiful angel today I love you forever and always Ella bear.

The Braceys, added Sweeney, will likely be watching the game at home and “hopefully we’ll put a smile on their faces.” It probably drove them crazy a few times. We hope that we were able to remove the most difficult situation from their minds for a while.

“It’s going to be a tough week. Our hearts are heavy and our prayers are with the Bracey family because they are our family. This happened a [17-month] road trip [through her illness] And that sweet Ella is at peace. We are all better for knowing Ella. I want the Braceys to know that we love them and will see them on Tuesday.

Ella’s funeral was Tuesday in Gaithersburg, Md., and her obituary said she “loved everything about Clemson, especially watching her older brother play football and bragging about who he was.”

She said: “She was nothing if not happy. We will all miss her smile and adventurous spirit. But now we are grateful that you know what it is like to be free from disease, pain or treatment.

“She didn’t want a normal funeral, she didn’t want people wearing black, she didn’t want to drive a black car,” Ella said. She wanted her immediate family to wear pink and orange and she wanted everyone else to wear the same bright colors!”

Her family requests that memorial donations be made to CureMeDullo.org.





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