Ralph Oragwu. Zach McMillian. D.J. Hayden.

Say their names. Ralph Oragwu. Zach McMillian. D.J. Hayden.

Saturday’s Homecoming double-header at The University of Houston lost its meaning when news started to spread about four possible deaths in the Cougar family. The day was darkened when details began to emerge that three former UH students, all football players, had their lives ended on a city street. As everyone struggled to understand, those men cast a long shadow on the day’s events.

They were Fort Bend County boys who came to UH within a year of each other, all well into adulthood now. They played in an era when UH Football felt more intimate, with more of a sense of community. After games, players would stop by tailgates, showing fans who they were rather than just what they did on the field.

Now, that community is shattered, and their lives terminated, by a selfish drunk driver in the middle of the night. Parents, loved ones, and children woken up with a phone call telling them their forever love is now gone.

Say their names. Ralph Oragwu. Zach McMillian. D.J. Hayden.

As daylight broke, their former teammates began circulating the news. It was hushed phone calls, then text chains that added more and more teammates from those Sumlin and Levine teams, all of it shrouded by disbelief. They searched the Internet for answers that were not coming. Bonded by their time at UH and by the people they shared it with, those teammates were dumbfounded, unable to process the finality of what happened in the night.

UH fans and alums were in disbelief as the news trickled out online. What? On Homecoming? So soon after Reggie Chaney’s passing? No one could process this negligence that took these three men so soon.

The cloudy, still day matched the emptiness inside us all. Games were played, winners and losers were decided, but there was a hollowness to it all.

Three men in their early thirties were taken from us, lives stolen from them. At least one former player, Jeffery Lewis, survived the accident but will forever deal with permanent grief and lasting guilt. Even in survival, the drunk driver took something from him he will struggle to overcome. Jeffery deserves the everlasting love from the fanbase that now mourns his brothers. And they were his brothers, now inextricably linked together with him for all time.

Say their names.

Ralph Oragwu. Zach McMillian. D.J. Hayden.

Ryan Monceaux
Ryan Monceauxhttps://gocoogs.com
Ryan is the guy from GoCoogs. He is also a real estate agent and entrepreneur.

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