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The El Dorado School District issued a statement Sunday mourning the loss of student-athlete Alex (A.J.) Hicks, who died on Saturday. Hicks was a member of the Wildcats’ football team, where he played tailback as a senior after playing quarterback as a junior.

“I am devastated to share the passing of El Dorado Wildcat Senior AJ Hicks,” said El Dorado athletic director Phillip Lansdell. “To our team, AJ’s family, and AJ’s friends, there are no perfect words to offer you right now, but I want you guys to know that the coaching staff at El Dorado High School are here for whatever you need. You can call us anytime, day or night. We’ll be there to listen. I know this is an uncertain time for our community, and today’s news makes that all the harder. We will get through this together. When tragedy takes us off guard, we can find strength in the fact that we serve a God who is never surprised, never shaken, and always there to walk us through tough times. I believe that wholeheartedly. Again, I wish we could gather together, but until then I’ll be checking on you.”

Although school is not in session due to the coronavirus pandemic, Lansdell said El Dorado’s counselors are working to provide virtual counseling to anyone who needs it. He said more information will be provided on this when available.

Hicks was one of the team leaders for the Wildcats. He rushed for 771 yards and 11 touchdowns this season. He averaged 4.8 yards per carry.

“Alex was loved by his teammates, coaches, teachers, administrators and fellow students. His smile and leadership in the locker room will truly be missed. Our hearts and prayers go out for his family and friends during this difficult time,” said Lansdell.

”This has been a hard year for Wildcat Athletics with the loss of Octavious Critten, Chris Wilson and now Alex. All three were good kids and will be missed by everyone. The hardest thing right now is the coaches can't be with their team to help them get through this. However, the EHS counselors have been working with local pastors to set up online counseling for any of our students that need it.”

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