Karissa Tatum

Karissa Tatum was a junior mass communications major at Savannah State University. She was a hitter on the volleyball team. She died on Sept. 4, 2019, after a car wreck. 

The Savannah State University Athletics Department took a few moments at the first home football game Sunday to remember student Karissa Tatum, who died after a car wreck on Sept. 1. 

The football game against Florida Institute of Technology was delayed from Saturday to Sunday after Hurricane Dorian swept past the coast. 

Tatum, a mass communications junior, died on Wednesday at Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah.  She was a volleyball hitter at Savannah State.

Leaders of the student body asked people to wear black to the game. A group of student athletes stood in the middle of the football field minutes before the game, while the announcer asked the guests for a moment of silence.

Students who attended the game said they appreciated the sentiment.

Ashely Bennett, a freshman, was in the stands on Sunday.

“I think that the game momentum was overall pretty good," he said. "Majority cooperated with the whole blackout theme, so as a whole we looked good. One negative I would have to say is that I feel like there should have been more athletes that came out onto the field during the moment of silence."

Adorian Beach, a senior defensive back on the football team, said, “The game went really well for me...We all as a team felt like we shouldn’t take life for granted because we all don’t know when our last snap could be as well as our last day of life in general. We all have something to prove to this community and that motivated us to do better as a group and be there for one another as well as play for one another as well."         

Deneesha Wallace, a freshman guard on the basketball team, was one of many student-athletes who walked out on the field.

“I think that the moment of silence for her was thoughtful because everyone took out the time to come and support one of our loved student athletes. I do feel if as we should do more for the ones that were close to her because it could be a lot to carry on and even if we just talk to them to see how they are doing. A lot of people do not understand death meaning don’t take it well so in result we should have a support group," Wallace said. 

Savannah State is hosting a vigil for Tatum at 8 p.m. Monday in the Kennedy Memorial Garden. Students are also encouraged to seek grief counseling with Counseling Services at 912-358-3129. 

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