Posted: Saturday, April 2, 2016 2:05 pm
LINK to the RTD Article: http://www.richmond.com/sports/high-school/article_8de4ef80-ce3d-55b9-81a1-25127741591f.html
Christian Cozens, a recent graduate of Douglas Freeman High School, died Friday after a fight with cancer. He was 20 years old.
At Freeman, he was a fullback on the football team, a lacrosse player and a shot putter and discus thrower. He graduated in 2014 and went to Randolph-Macon, where he played football.
In April 2015, he was diagnosed with chondroblastic osteosarcoma, a bone cancer. He underwent chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. The cancer left him paralyzed from the waist down.
“He was such a hard worker, and that was evident in the way he battled the cancer and the way he played the game of football,” said Freeman football coach Mike Henderson.
Two weeks ago, the Freeman lacrosse team held a benefit game in Mr. Cozens’ honor. Proceeds were given to the Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration. More than $4,000 was raised.
When he was a senior on the Freeman football team, he mostly blocked as other players carried the ball. But when the Rebels entered the playoffs with their top two running backs hurt, Mr. Cozens was thrust into the lead role.
He carried the ball 25 times that night for 81 yards and a touchdown. It was perhaps his best game, but Freeman lost 24-10.
“He was a good fullback,” Henderson said. “He was a tough kid. He was a big kid.”
The family will receive visitors from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday at Bliley’s Funeral Homes at 3801 Augusta Ave. A wake will be held at 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11 a.m. Thursday at Saint Bridget Catholic Church, 6006 Three Chopt Rd.