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Fallen football player honored as Dutch Fork’s homecoming king

·2 min read

Dutch Fork High School honored one of its former players in a special way Friday night.

Jack Alkhatib, a Silver Foxes offensive lineman who died in August, was named the school’s homecoming king at halftime of the game against River Bluff. The Silver Foxes won the game 48-0.

Alkhatib’s mom, Kelly Hewins Alkhatib, and brother Ben attended Friday night’s game and were called to the field at halftime for the ceremony. Kelly was presented with the crown and waved to the crowd, which cheered loudly during the moment.

“I honestly didn’t know until it happened,” Kelly told The State Saturday morning. “I thought they were going to do something honorary for Jack. They had just asked that Ben and me to come out on the field during halftime. It was quite the honor and took me by surprise.”

Jack Alkhatib died after collapsing at a night practice on Aug. 24. A memorial was held for him days later in place of a scheduled game against Gaffney. The Silver Foxes returned to the field a week later and defeated Byrnes 56-25.

Two weeks ago against White Knoll, Dutch Fork scored 60 points and took a knee on the extra point attempt to stay at 60 and honor Alkhatib, who wore No. 60. Hewins Alkhatib has attended all but one of the Silver Foxes’ games this year, only missing one when she was sick.

“I can’t tell you how much these boys are helping me,” Hewins Alkhatib said. “Seeing them give their all on Friday nights for our Jack is such an honor. The healing that occurs when I’m with them is palpable.”

Dutch Fork is off to a 7-0 start and has a 57-game unbeaten streak. The Silver Foxes are in search of their sixth straight Class 5A championship. The team is using the hashtag #6for60 in its pursuit of another title.

Dutch Fork can win the Region 5-5A championship next week at home against Lexington.

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