“With a heavy heart we mourn the loss of Desmond Pollard who passed away this afternoon. He was a Junior Wide Receiver who wore number 8 just like his brother Darrion Pollard did. He also played basketball and ran track. He was the fourth of the Pollard brothers we coached. Devane, Darious, Darrion, and all of his family are in our prayers. We will all miss his sweet smile.”
With the speed of today’s social media, most knew within just a few hours of the irreplaceable loss of this Gilmer High School student who was living the dream of being a Gilmer Buckeye, as so many have before him.
According to reports, Desmond was playing in a basketball game with friends in Mesquite when he collapsed and stopped breathing.
Pollard led the Buckeyes in receiving in the 2013 football season (49 receptions for 958 yards and 15 touchdowns).
School was closed Monday because of the ice storm. On Tuesday, Coach Traylor and the Buckeyes were planning to assemble and tell some of their favorite Desmond stories — to “cry and laugh together” as they reminisced about their friend and teammate.
“We will get through this together,” he said.
Coach Traylor also told David Smoak, Waco sportscaster and namesake of the Smoaky.com site devoted to East and Central Texas high school sports, that the 6-3, 185-lb. Pollard was one of the best athletes he had ever coached, “at Manuel Johnson, Curtis Brown level” of talent.
Brother Darrion, who set several school records as a Buckeye receiver, is playing football at Rice University in Houston now.
He opined Monday on Twitter: “The Lord must’ve needed a goal line receiver on his holy team because in the red zone.. my lil bro was money! ha. Ball out young soldier.”
Funeral for Desmond Pollard will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at First Baptist Church in Gilmer. Visitation will be on Friday night at Croley Funeral Home in Gilmer from 6 to 8 p.m. Doug Martin at East Texas Professional Credit Union has set up a memorial fund to help offset funeral expenses. Call 903-918-2265 for more information.
Update from Official Gilmer Buckeyes Facebook Page:
“Desmond Pollard Fund - On-Line Giving
“We know that getting to the field house or credit union to help with giving to this cause may not be possible for some. The link below provides another way to help this family.
“The organizer of this on-line giving link has coordinated with Amy Ward at the field house and the participants at Mike Craig Ford to accept credit card donations on behalf of the family.”