Football players remember coach who died helping others - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Football players remember coach who died helping others

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Jay Wood with his newborn daughter. Jay Wood with his newborn daughter.
Joey Kinslow Joey Kinslow
Jack Reddington Jack Reddington
T.J. Spratley T.J. Spratley
Devon Ditto Devon Ditto

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - WAVE 3 News spoke with the Green County family of Jay Wood, the young father who was one of two Good Samaritans killed trying to assist accident victims on Interstate 64. Although he grew up in central Kentucky, we also spoke with Wood's Louisville family.

In crimson and white, the Doss Dragons youth football team has scored many a touchdown, thanks in part to their assistant coach and friend.

"It's sad," said Joey Kinslow, a defensive lineman. "I really liked him and I wish he was still here."

This week, there was no practice as the team of middle schoolers mourned Jay Wood. Coach Jay, 33, was a father and former Green County athlete had the reputation of putting others ahead of himself. He certainly did that on September 9. Going eastbound on I-64, Coach Jay turned around to try and help victims of a car crash. He and a Virginia driver were hit and killed next to the accident by a semi swerving to avoid it.

Coach Jay's football family says what he did is no surprise.

"Most of us, most people, most adults if you see an accident, you say ‘Oh my God, I hope everybody is OK' and you keep on driving," said head coach Jack Reddington.

Kinslow agreed that wasn't Coach Jay.

"He'd do anything for anybody just like he pulled over on the side of the road," said Kinslow, "he'd take everybody to their games if we didn't have a ride, he was a cool dude."

As much as Coach Jay loved football, Reddington said he loved teaching and mentoring kids more.

"He would get off work, rush here and then go to start picking up kids," said Reddington. "Game days were the same thing."

"He was like a good person and he liked try to help," said T. J. Spratley, a running back, "and this is my first time being here at Doss and as soon as I got here he helped me right away."

Coach Jay was also known to bring the game hype and to get the players pumped up.

Devon Ditto, another Dragons running back, repeated the coach's line: "How we going to blow them out today?"

Reddington said Coach Jay wasn't like anyone he's ever met.

"The other day, someone said I didn't know who he was, but I know he's the guy who came and shook my hand and asked me how I was doing."

To honor Coach Jay's fiancee and his children in their Saturday game, the crimson and white Dragons wanted to wear black jerseys - 27 of them.

"This time of year it's about a four week thing to try and get jerseys done right now," explained Mike Flanders of Shively Sporting Goods.

But the Shively business was determined for this team.

"We had something in stock and we were able to letter them in our shop and everybody just pulled together and made it happen," said Flanders about getting them done in time.

Now dressed in black, the Dragons plan to score one more time for their coach, friend and hero.

Coach Reddington and some of the players went to Friday's funeral service. Besides wearing their black jerseys, the team will also present a signed game ball to Coach Jay's fiancée and children during Saturday's game at Doss High as the young Dragons host East Louisville Sports at 1:30 p.m.

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