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Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Bulls freshman buried in hometown
Former teammates and coaches remember running back Keeley Dorsey, who died Jan. 17.
By GREG AUMAN
Published January 28, 2007
TALLAHASSEE - Classmates, teammates, coaches and family gathered Saturday to lay USF freshman Keeley Dorsey to rest, and for many, the toughest moment came at the end of the memorial service at Christian Heritage Church.
David Wilson, who coached Dorsey at nearby Lincoln High School, closed with the "roll call" he takes of his players before a game.
One by one, he called out the names of the seniors who graduated with Dorsey.
One by one, they answered: "Right here, Coach."
Wilson called out "Keeley Dorsey" three times, the silence broken only by expressions of grief among those mourning the 19-year-old running back who collapsed and died Jan. 17 during a weight-room workout on USF's campus.
"This is a celebration," USF coach Jim Leavitt said as Dorsey rested in a white coffin, a green USF cap above his head. "I love Keeley. Our players love Keeley. His life already has and will continue to have an impact on all of us for years to come.
"It's through God's strength that I can get through this. Hopefully, it's the same for you."
Dorsey's pallbearers, teammates at Lincoln, wore their college jerseys from Florida, Florida State, Central Florida, Auburn, Mississippi and UTEP.
About 30 USF players traveled with the coaching staff by bus Saturday. The entire team attended a campus memorial service Thursday.
Keeley's uncle, Mike Dorsey, remembered the pride his nephew had when he visited him in New Jersey last summer, proud to overcome adversities to graduate from Lincoln and earn a scholarship to USF.
"He told me, 'Uncle Mike, I'm going to hold down the Dorsey name. I'm going to make everyone proud,' " his uncle said.
"Whether he knew it or not, we were already proud for what he had accomplished in his life. He was a tremendous kid."
Greg Auman can be reached at email@example.com or 813 226- 3346. View his blog at blogs.tampa bay.com/usf/.