March 19, 2008
Orlando, Fla. (www.ucfathletics.com) - The UCF football program continued to mourn the loss of a fallen teammate Wednesday afternoon conducting a private memorial service in honor of Ereck Plancher in the team meeting room at the Wayne Densch Sports Center on the UCF campus.
The football team, including coaches and support staff, was in attendance as Del Wright from the Central Florida Office of Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) eulogized the redshirt freshman who tragically passed away on Tuesday.
"To watch and listen to this football team express their feelings about Ereck as a teammate and much more as a person was very moving," Wright said. "The players and coaches were able to open up and share what this outstanding young man meant to them. I think the memorial service will help them cope with the tremendous loss, continue the healing process and move them forward as a team."
The memorial service lasted for just over an hour as the team and staff shared remembrances and the respect they have for Ereck.
"I have been to a lot of memorial services, but I have never heard more positive things said about an individual, then I heard today about Ereck," head coach George O'Leary said. "His teammates, coaches and support staff spoke highly of his character. He was a special young man and the sentiment I expressed to the team was the best way to honor Ereck is to emulate him."
Funeral arrangements for Plancher have been set and the service will be held at Lely High School in Naples, Fla., on March 29 at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Ereck Plancher Memorial Fund. Donations can be sent to:
Ken Fairbanks at Lely High School
1 Lely High School Blvd.
Naples, Florida 34113
On Wednesday, O'Leary also announced spring practices for the football team will begin on Monday, March 24, allowing the team to be off for Easter weekend. The first week of practices will be closed to the public, but are tentatively set to be opened for the remainder of the spring starting with the 2 p.m. session on Sunday, March 30. The UCF spring football game will remain on schedule for April 12 at 3 p.m. at Bright House Networks Stadium.
"We appreciate the support the community has given to our team throughout this tragic loss," O'Leary added. "We feel it is in the best interest to give our players and staff proper time to reflect on the loss of a teammate and wonderful young man before returning to the field on Monday. This has been tough on everyone involved, however our thoughts and prayers remain with Ereck and his family."