LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Friday night was Senior Night for football players at Atherton High School, but in the celebration came a somber moment for a teammate who never got to take the field this season.
Seventeen-year-old Devin Sesay was shot and killed over the summer in Smoketown right before his senior year. His murder is still unsolved.
The Rebels have made sure to include their friend and teammate throughout what would have been his final season.
They signed one of his jerseys, displayed it and gave it to his mom, but Friday night was different.
Maima Karneh looked out over the field her son loved so much and began to cry. She realized Devin never had the chance to take his senior team picture while looking at the others on display.
“People say it gets better every day; that’s not true,” aunt Sietta Karneh said. “I found it’s worse than the day before. Every day I have to wake up knowing he’s not coming home.”
Sietta said her nephew was looking forward to his senior year more than anything.
“He lived, breathed, ate, slept football," she said. "Devin was determined to get to the NFL. He had his whole life mapped out. He was going to college, he was going to graduate high school, he was going to prom, he was looking forward to working two jobs this summer and playing football and someone cheated him out of it.”
But what Devin looked forward to most was his senior night.
“Back in April, he asked his mom and stepdad to be here to walk him for this walk,” Sietta said.
It turned out to be a walk his mom, aunt, and siblings would take without him.
“I wish he was here to actually do this walk but I know he’s here in spirit; he’s with us,” Sietta said.
The Rebel family made sure they had a piece of Devin to walk with them. They surprised his mom with his game-day jersey.
“The kids have made him a part of this every single game,” Sietta said. “He still lives here. He still lives in these kids.”
Clinging to her son’s jersey, Maima looked on as the parade of players and parents dwindled down to the end.
When it was her turn to walk through the column of teammates and onto the field, the coach embraced the family, and balloons were released.
Oct. 12 would have been Devin’s 18th birthday, so as part of the Imagine Mural Festival in Smoketown, artists painted him into one of the colorful creations near the spot where he was shot and killed.
There have been no arrests in his case.