The Brandon Broncos youth football organization is mourning the loss of one of their own. Brandon native, 16-year-old Alex Alicea passed away in October. The team is honoring him in several ways, including their play on the field.
The Broncos have not only dedicated its fall season to Alicea, but they have also incorporated LLA (Long Live Alex) throughout their facility to keep him alive in everything that they do. LLA is painted on the field, woven in the fence and in the cheerleaders’ bows and signs that they use in their routines. The players chant his nickname, ‘lights out,’ before and after every game. Several of the older players got matching tattoos to honor their fallen teammate, who wore No. 1.
“Alex wasn’t just a friend of mine, he was a brother,” said teammate Jakob Beamon. “Knowing he is gone just won’t ever sit right with me. I miss him. His personality was like no other, always so full of energy. He carried all of us on that field. He was our leader.”
Alicea not only left a mark on his teammates and coaches, but his community as well. Broncos President Jerilynn Beamon described Alicea as a fun-loving kid that made everybody laugh and had an infectious attitude that touched the people he came into contact with. She said that he always had a smile on his face. Roughly 300 people came to a candlelight vigil to honor his life, which was tragically lost in a shooting.
Broncos Coach/Athletic Director Josh Beamon, who coached Alicea for seven years, will feel his loss for the rest of his life.
“He made everybody around him better through hard work and leadership, both players and coaches,” Josh. “He was the one player that I built my organization around—he was my franchise player. He will never be forgotten. ‘I got you, Coach,’ was his saying. No matter what needed to be done, he always said, ‘I got you, Coach.’”
The organization’s 8U team went undefeated and was its first team to go to the Super Bowl in 19 years. Three out of their five teams made the playoffs. Jerilynn believes that Alicea helped lead the teams in spirit and that he was their inspiration.
The Broncos have had a motto that they’ve lived by this season: one team, one goal, one family. Josh said that it truly feels like they lost a part of their family when Alex passed. For the spring season, they will have an LLA patch added to the jerseys, and they will give out an award in his name to a player that embodies his character. The organization will retire Alicea’s No. 1 jersey as well.
The organization is accepting donations on behalf of the family. If interested, donations can be made several of ways, including through Cash App at $Brandonbroncos, PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org and checks and cash in person at the Broncos park (3104 S Kings Ave. in Brandon) or mailed to P.O. Box 2001, Brandon, FL 33509.