BOSTON (CBS) – It was helmets up for Odin Lloyd’s family as his Boston Bandits teammates dedicated Friday night’s football game against the Merrimack Valley Pride.
“You need something please call on us, we’ll be offended if you don’t,” said coach Mike Branch as he handed Lloyd’s mother Ursula Ward his number 53 shirt and then had her toss the coin to start the game.
“You could tell he was a great guy. They don’t do things like that for everybody, it means a lot to us,” said his sister Olivia Thibou.
With shouts of “O, let’s go,” it was game on with the Bandits more determined to win than ever. “It’s been tough,” said teammate Mike Murray. This is our sanctuary on the football field.”
Lloyd was a standout linebacker for the semi-pro Bandits, and it was a difficult coincidence the dedication was planned on the same day as Aaron Hernandez arraignment for Lloyd’s murder. His coach Mike Branch is still trying to ease the pain. “I don’t know if I can do that. I’m a mentor, a big brother and I am supportive, but it’s tough for me as well.”
Teammates say they’ll let the case play out in court, while they play for Odin Lloyd on the field. “Odin is looking down on us, we draw strength from him,” said his cousin Omar Phillip.
It was a fitting tribute that the team prevailed and won with a score of 7-0. His presence is one thing Odin Lloyd’s family was feeling. “A lot of these guys are like brothers. It’s like watching him play,” said Olivia Thibou.