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Tragic loss for the Malone basketball team

Published: Jul. 6, 2020 at 6:04 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) -A tragic car accident took the life of Malone student-athlete Ocasio Murff.

The 17 year old senior-to-be was killed in a single car accident very early Sunday morning on a road between Malone and Campbellton.

The shockwaves were felt across the northern end of Jackson County and beyond. Murff was a team leader on the Malone basketball team,

and was looking forward to a big senior season.

Among those who knew Cas well, who knows the young man's family well, having coached his two older brothers, head basketball coach at Malone, Steve Welch.

“Definitely just a natural leader. People flocked to him. Kids were enamored of him, he was just a charismatic individual. He always lit a room up, he liked to crack jokes, he was the life of the party, so to speak. And he was just kind of the class clown. And you never had a safe moment because he’d pick on you about things instantly. And so that’s going to create a vacuum with many people. Teachers, his parents, his family, the students in our community, the players, the coaches, he was an influential young man! So he definitely made an impact on many people and we’re going to miss him immensely,” said Welch.

Coach Welch went on to explain how the team is handling the loss.

“You know we haven’t met a lot this summer but at the same time we got together yesterday after everything that happened. We got the team together just to kind of see each other’s face and spend some time together. You know I felt like that was very beneficial to the guys and for me as well, just to get together and cry a little bit. And laugh a little bit and spend some time together. Because so much as a coach you talk about family and togetherness and at times like these you need those things,” said Welch.

Coach Welch says one of Cas’ brothers is in the military, so the family is awaiting his return home before moving ahead with any services.

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