Friends, family aim to remember fallen football star

A push to rename a Cobb County high school football field in honor of a player killed in a car crash has been delayed.

Family, friends and classmates would like to honor the legacy of Philip Lutzenkirchen.

The Lassiter High School alum went on to play football at Auburn University. He was killed in a crash last year.

A foundation created in honor of Lutzenkirchen raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, but many are now worried a school board vote could put their plan in jeopardy.

The Lassiter High School stadium is worn out and the group was hoping to replace the turf and rename the field before the upcoming football season, but the item was taken off the agenda at the board’s last meeting.

“It has become our Field of Dreams where we are all working to live, laugh and love together like Lutz did,” parent Kim Cross told the board.

The group says the effort is about a lot more than just replacing the turf.

“That is what this project is about – letting the lessons that Phil Lutzenkirchen taught to young men, like my son, live on,” said parent Rodney Adams.

Lutzenkirchen, 23, and Joseph Ian Davis, 22, died when their car flipped several times in a DUI-related crash in 2014. Lutzenkirchen, of Marietta, was a former Lassiter High School and Auburn University football player.

Davis, from Dunwoody, was a former Dunwoody and University of Georgia baseball player.

Lutzenkirchen was a passenger in the car. The football star left such a legacy at Lassiter that groups banded together to raise $370,000 to redo the Lassiter turf and rename it Lutzie field.

“How Philip died, I don’t think is the reason for the delay in this project. I think how Philip lived should be the impetus to move this thing forward,” said Gary Zingler.

Even though the money was raised by those wishing to honor the athlete's legacy, the board still must sign off on the procedures and bidding.

Chairman Randy Scamihorn said the only holdup was simply the fine print.

“It’s very difficult to be proactive or to reject something when you don’t even know anything about it," Scamihorn said.

Scamihorn says the project will be put on the school district’s agenda in two weeks. The head of the Lutzie Foundation says the group was hoping to begin work on Monday but will still try to make it work if the project is approved in two weeks.