By Alex Lippa
---- — PLAISTOW — The Timberlane Tornadoes will be playing this year with heavy hearts.
All seventh- and eighth-grade Tornadoes players will honor former player Jacob Carver and former coach David Nye on their helmets this year. Carver and Nye both died this year.
“These are two people who added a lot to the Tornadoes program,” Tornadoes’ head coach Jerry Lovett said.
Carver, 15, of Danville committed suicide in March.
Players will wear his number, 79, on their helmets this season in his memory.
“He was a fun-loving kid,” Lovett said. “He always had a smile on his face and was such a hard worker.”
Carver started on the team as a lineman in 2011.
Nye was a Tornadoes’ coach for more than a decade in 1990s and 2000s. The team will wear his initials on their helmet, right next to Carver’s number.
“Our family is very honored by that,” said his widow Dianne Nye. “He enjoyed all the times he had with the Tornadoes. It’s nice that they will be recognizing us.”
Dianne Nye and Debbie Carver, Jacob’s mother, will both be at the Tornadoes’ home-opener tonight against Tewksbury.
Lovett will present both women with jerseys before the game.
“(Carver) was the last person to ever wear the jersey,” Lovett said.
A scholarhsip will be established in David Nye’s honor. It will be presented to a Timberlane senior who played for the Tornadoes and at the high school.
“He coached at every single level of our program,” Lovett said of Nye. “He also started our flag football program.”
The game begins at 7:30 p.m. at the football field at Timberlane Regional High School, 36 Greenough Road.