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Son of Macon leaders killed in football accident

By Phillip Ramati
Telegraph Staff Writer

Former Northeast High School football star Al Lucas died Sunday in Los Angeles from a presumed spinal cord injury sustained during an Arena Football League game, according to officials from the Los Angeles Avengers and published reports.

Lucas, the 26-year-old son of state Rep. David Lucas, D-Macon, and Macon City Councilwoman Elaine Lucas, was trying to make a tackle in the first quarter of Sunday's game during a kickoff return against the New York Dragons.

According to published reports, television replays showed Lucas bending down to make a tackle. The Dragons' ball carrier and a blocker tumbled over his head and back, with the blocker's leg appearing to hit Lucas in the head. Lucas did not move after falling to the ground.

Lucas was taken to California Hospital and all attempts to revive him were unsuccessful, team physician Dr. Luga Podesta said in a statement to the Associated Press.

Attempts to contact members of the Avengers' organization were unsuccessful Sunday evening.

Lucas worked with Northeast's coaching staff as a community assistant coach during the AFL's offseason before becoming a full-time assistant this past season. Attempts to reach Raiders head coach Bruce Mullen weren't successful, but defensive coordinator Lance Perlman said Lucas' loss would be felt by the entire program.

"He helped us a lot in the three years I've been here," Perlman said. "Al had been coming in the offseason and volunteering and helping. He was a tremendous asset. We're going to have to tell the kids (today), and they're going to take it hard. He wanted to be a teacher and coach after he was done playing football, and he wanted to do it at Northeast.

"He coached the defensive line and was huge in our defensive scheme. All his professional experience he freely gave. He was in a total position to influence the program. ... Coach Mullen is in a state of shock. He's known Al almost all his life. It's horrible; it's a tragedy."

Steve Edwards, who coached Lucas during his playing days at Northeast, had fond memories of Lucas as a player and a person.

"Al was a super kid," Edwards said. "He loved football. He grew up in an athletically- and politically-based childhood. He was a super person and a super athlete. Obviously, this is a very, very tragic incident. I would certainly like to extend my condolences to his family."

Edwards spoke to Lucas several weeks ago.

"I spoke with Al at a Northeast basketball game, and we reminisced about the good times," Edwards said. "We had a very good person-to-person conversation. He was a very solid human being."

Lucas played two years in the Arena Football League after spending the 2000 and '01 NFL seasons with the Carolina Panthers.

Lucas, a 6-foot-1, 300-pound lineman, was a standout in college at Troy State from 1996-99, where he won the Buck Buchanan Award as a senior as the top defensive player in Division I-AA.

After going into the Arena League, he was named to the All-Rookie team in 2003 with Tampa Bay. He chose to play in the Arena League even though he was the fourth overall pick in the 2003 NFL Europe free agent draft by the Frankfurt Galaxy.

Lucas' younger brother, Lenny, plays for the Macon Knights in the af2.

Bibb County athletics director Raynette Evans remembered Lucas for his gentility.

"He was so wonderful," she said. "He volunteered his time and expertise, which was tremendous for our young men. ... He had a lot of credibility with our kids, and not just the Northeast students. Anytime he was in one of our athletic arenas, the football players from many schools would talk to him.

"I watched him in middle school (Appling) and high school. I'm shocked and stunned; you never expect to see it with someone you know. I started to think of him not on the football field but when he played basketball. That huge body was extremely intimidating, but he was so gentle. On the field he was as aggressive as you want in a player, but off the field he was what you would call a gentle giant."

AFL Commissioner David Baker issued a statement for the league.

"Al Lucas played arena football with passion and integrity. The entire AFL family extends its deepest sympathies to Al's wife and family as well as his friends, family and teammates," Baker said.

Lucas was married to De'Shonda Lucas and had a daughter, Mariah.
Published in The Telegraph on Apr. 11, 2005.
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by The Family and Friends of "Big Luke"
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1159 entries
September 1, 2018
Today would've made you 40 Al. I can see myself clowning you now n calling you old man (even though I'm 8 months older than you). Missing you all the time. I'm still keeping your legacy alive by educating your nieces and nephews how great of a guy you were. SIP my brother
Latonda Adderley
August 9, 2018
Such nice tributes.
Elaine Lucas
August 8, 2018
It's been 2 days since Tyrone Tucker joined you. I miss you Al. It's getting close to your birthday... less than a month away. Happy Pre 40th birthday. I guess God delivered your gift several days early. He was your biggest fan and at every gathering he made sure your name was mentioned and your presence felt. Now, we'll have to call your name and Tyrone's name together - because you are together again. May God bless both families in these tremendous losses. Love you guys! Class of 96 forever!
Erica (Lamar) Fields
October 3, 2017
We love you, Al. We will never forget you.
Mom and Dad
July 5, 2016
I lost my grandmother in 2004 and I lost a dear friend in 2005. I have looked at all of the comments that are posted here for my dear friend but I always cried heavily when I tried to post something. Al will never be forgotten his big smile and jolly heart. Al still brings strength and courage to those that new him. I'm still strong because of Al. I'm as bold as a Lion and I go hard. Thank you Al for your wisdom and kindness you will always be loved and missed.
Joynell -
April 5, 2016
November 27, 2015
Happy turkey day big lil bro from me n the kids. Love you
latonda adderley
September 1, 2015
Happy Born Day from me Lj, Naire, Aleesha n Cameron
Latonda Adderley
April 11, 2015
It's been 10 years and the pain and hurt is still there. You will forever be in all of our hearts. Love you brother
Latonda Adderley
February 2, 2015
I'm follow the ligth big AL
Tyrone Tucker
February 2, 2015
Albert james Lucas one of God's warriors of "Respect " and " Humble integrity someone who forever will be present in my "Visions" of a positive brother. SINCERELY WITH LOVE AND PEACE I LOVE YOU MYBROTHER , AS YOU ATTEND GOD'S TASK "BIG LUKE" 76, 71. "WE ARE CLIMBING JACOB'S LADDER" HAPPY BLACK HISTORY MONTH" Omega honor
January 7, 2015
Al will always be with you as long as you remember...
Todd Haygood
January 4, 2015
Al, your legacy lives. Praying that God continues to Bless andkkeep your family in peace with strength.
Cindy Bivins Coleman
January 4, 2015
Happy New Year "Big Luke"!!
Patty Tydings
January 3, 2015
Thanks for continuing to remember Al. It's almost 10 years since he left us. We love him.
December 31, 2014
Happy New Year lil big bro :-)
Latonda Adderley
June 23, 2014
We light a candle in your honor and memory,
Mom and Dad Lucas
June 23, 2014
We loved you Al and will always remember you as a wonderful person. We know you are looking down on us from above. You are truly missed.
Elaine Lucas
June 22, 2014
Thinking about you again. Your nephew Cameron found a pic of you the other day n asked if it was Lj :-). You guys never met but I'll make sure he knows about you n how good of a person you were. :-)
Latonda Adderley
December 2, 2012
Your nephew Lj asks many many questions about you and I try my best to answer as much as i can remember. You will always be missed. And in remembrance of you he's trying to get your football Jersey #........ #76
Latonda Adderley
September 11, 2012
9/11 is a day of Remembrance of those lives that were lost suddenly & too early. I could say the same for you Al. I talk with your father often. You were truly loved. We miss you.
Calvin Smyre
September 11, 2012
James Jackson
September 10, 2012
Happy belated birthday, Al.
September 4, 2012
I wish we could go back to our Northeast days. The days when we didn't have a care in the world except for what time we had to be at school on game day so the bus would not leave us. I miss you Al!
June 28, 2012
To my cousin Al, I love and miss u sooo much. I'm truley proud of you. You lived a great life.
March 3, 2012
Thinking of you often as the 2012 AFL Season begins.
November 11, 2011
You are truly miss,may you rest in peace Big Luke ,God Bless
Carl Collier
November 5, 2011
The sadness comes and goes, but the sweet memories of our dear son linger with us always. As we approach 7 years since you left us Al, we miss you and love you more.
David & Elaine Lucas
November 4, 2011
It has been six years since our beloved Albert"big luke" Lucas left us. In all respect, I send all my regards and love out to the Lucas family. May God continue to bless you.
James Jackson
August 25, 2011
August 25, 2011
albert james lucas i miss u dearly ,and your birthday is own the way. i know jesus has a very important gift 4 u bro. an that is u keeping all of us positive in the world . alpha 2 omega . .............respect big luke [ this tyrone tucker wishing u a happy birthday lil bro. from T.TUCKER. ..........9/1/78...............9/1/2011 BLESS IT MAC-TOWN.
August 17, 2011
i miss yhu unkle al.
Amber Wimbush
January 25, 2011
We love you Al
Mom and Dad
January 24, 2011
Elaine and family, I am so sorry to hear about your son. Words cannot describe how much I wish I could take the hurt away. My prayers are with you.
Joanette Barnes
October 31, 2010
Albert, certainly, you think it is hilarious, thus far, 1123 citizens embraced your palpable excitement and generous spirit. Well, I am elated to be an addition to those who love you. What is so funny? Yes, silly, I love you!!! Continue smiling, this is our shared moment. Until next time, relax, enjoy and celebrate. Well "Luke", sorry, our shared moment has quickly passed, in tears, love you. Eric J. Copeland
Eric Copeland
October 31, 2010
It is so hard to say goodbye to someone you love so much.
David and Elaine Lucas
October 29, 2010
Miss u big Al aka Big Luc.....i remember our basketball memory....u were a great person and athlete....even in bball..... Goat(Troy State Alum.)
frederick jones
September 12, 2010
May you R.I.P.
Carl Collier
September 12, 2010
We love you and miss you, Al. We will do all the good we can in your honor. Your scholarship program will forever remind people of your life.
Elaine Lucas
September 8, 2010
Happy Belated Luke, We Miss Ya!
September 1, 2010
BIG Luke,,Happy Birthday!!
May 24, 2010
Life can be challenging when you lose a good person/friend, but just know big Al wants you all to be strong for him.
Jesse Ballard
April 10, 2010
Big are in my thoughts today.
April 6, 2010
To the Lucas family - You are and will always be a special family to me - My thoughts and prayers are with you at this time of your life - Al was a wonderful person and I am reminded of that so many times everytime someone walks out of my office and stops to look at the picture of Al hanging there - God Bless you all - Isn't it wonderful that flowers bloom and brighten our day - Love you all
Judy Morgan
April 5, 2010
You are remembered AL!! May God continue to bless the Lucas Family!
April 4, 2010
Just a few more days before the 5th anniversary of Al's death. It is such a sad time for us, but when the azaleas in our front yard bloom, I am reminded of Al's wonderful heart and his love for us. His was a beautiful life--just like the gorgeous azaleas.
Elaine Lucas
December 27, 2009
Thanks you, again, to all who continue to remember Al. You don't know how much it helps us to know that people still remember and care about him. Al loved Christmas with family and friends and we miss him so much especially during these times.
Elaine Lucas
December 25, 2009
Merry Christmas, Big Luke
Patty Tydings
November 29, 2009

My dearest Al:
You made such an impression in your short life that we will always remember you in a really big way. Thank you for what you left to all of us.
Your Auntie Beverly
Beverly Bush
November 26, 2009
Thanks again to all of you who love Al and his memory. We treasure you and hope you will forever keep us in your prayers. Happy Thanksgiving
Elaine Lucas
September 15, 2009
Dear Elaine,
Everytime I read a tribute to your precious son I am reminded of the many gifts and talents your entire family has been given. It is so tragic that Al was not also given the gift of long life, but he accomplished so much in the brief time he had on earth. We know you still miss him terribly.
Helen and Harold Weathers
September 15, 2009
Happy Belated Luke
September 14, 2009
September 8th. has come and gone...but wanted to stop by and wish you a Happy Birthday!! You are still loved
May 4, 2009
Mrs. Lucas and family, congratulations on the scholarships that were awarded, it is such a gift to have Luke's memory passed on in the form of a blessing to someone else, but we who knew Al knew he was exactly that, A BLESSING TO OTHERS! Now, about TRYING to keep his memory you can see that can be done with minimal efforts as he touched so many lives! I am so honored to have had the opportunity to spend my years at Troy with him as a friend and teammate, he is defiantely a unique guy who left memories in the hearts of all! Ms. Judy it is great to read your comments as well. Contact me at your convienience God Bless you all!
May 3, 2009
We recently awarded the fifth set of Al Lucas Memorial Scholarships and try to keep Al's memory alive through this effort. Thank you all for your words of encouragement and comfort.
Elaine Lucas
May 2, 2009
Al and the Lucas Family, has, is and always will be a very special part of my life. Everytime I look at his big portrait in my office I am reminded of just how precious life is. Love to the Lucas Family everyday. I am reminded of all the love the football team had when I see remarks such as Archie - Memories are precious - Hold on tight to them. #76 will always belong to Al Lucas!!!!!!!!
Judy Morgan
May 1, 2009
You have not been forgotten Al. Your smile and your love remain here with us. We hope to get our wings one day too.

Altovise Curtis
April 13, 2009
Luke, I still think about you and miss ya man, great times at Troy! I still think about all the funny sayings you had about me and how animated you were, every time I look at our conference rings I am reminded that I did that with you and we did it as a team, I will never forget you man! Still sending thoughts and prayers to the family as well.
April 12, 2009
Happy Easter, BIG LUKE.
April 11, 2009
...for some a loss is not a win, but Al won a battle we all will fight one day and has moved on to a far better place. As the tears run down my face, I think about him and my cousin. On April 6, 2007 My (first) cousin lost his life to violence. He and Al were alot alike. Thery both kept you laughing. I do understand the grief and hurt of losing someone you love. It's been 4 years since Al's been gone, and when I go see my cousin I also vist Al, they are a few feet away from each other. They are in good company. My grandmother and uncle are out there as well. As the years past, their memory will forever last within our hearts, minds, and soul. ONE LOVE!!!!!
Makeda Holden
April 10, 2009
WOW!! 4 years today since you left us...your memory and your spirit is as strong as ever. You are loved and missed so so much. You were and still remain a great influence to myself and many.
We love you, BIG LUKE
January 2, 2009
miss you much my friend....
Ysheka Mitchell
December 31, 2008
BIG LUKE...another one without you. Happy New Year. We have not forgotten.
December 31, 2008
...14 hours until a new year, and you are still missed. Let the new year bring blessings to everyone Big Al have touched, now and the years to come.
Keda Mae
December 29, 2008
Even though you are watching over us from eternal life, I still think about you from time to time and I still miss hearing all the silly things you used to say when I saw you. Lord knows you kept a girl laughing and you were one of the sweetest guys I knew. You are still missed. Chae
Tamaria Hodges
December 28, 2008
I know that these times are the toughest, but I wanted to wish the Lucas Family a Happy Holidays. Al's memory will definately live on!
December 27, 2008
Mrs. Lucas,
Al's friends have not forgotten him and never will. He had a HUGE impact on many people and for that, I thank him to this day.
Happy Holiday's to you and to "Big Luke".
Patty Tydings
December 26, 2008
Al, you are truly missed. I am still sadend that you are gone. I will constantly remember all the good times we had at centerpark playing cards and grilling out back. You were such a dear friend to me, LaShonda, Regina, LaTonya, Kimmie, Kim and Tim. You always made us laugh and enjoy life. You were a wonderful spirit and great friend. I pray for you and your family and remember Al left a lifelong impression on every person he came in contact with. Lenny keep your head up, Al is still with you!
Kandee Kennedy
December 26, 2008
Thank you all so much for keeping Al in your lives. We surely miss him. Holidays were his favorite times and he loved exchanging gifts with family and giving to others. He would be a mature man of 30 now and a very happy person. I know that he had a lot to contribute to this world, but it was not to be. We know that he is in God's care. We will keep his memory alive through his Al Lucas Scholarship program and by helping as many young people as we can while we are able. Seasons' greetings.
Elaine Lucas
December 24, 2008
i am sorry that this has happened to your family.
tom wall
November 26, 2008
Big Luke,
Happy Thanksgiving.
Patty Tydings
November 25, 2008
...they say time heals all wounds, but within these 3 years, it has only set in that Al is really gone. Words can't express how one truly feels when you loose a loved one. God is good, and with continued prayer he will help take the pain away. Congrats to Mr. & Mrs. Lucas for keeping his legacy alive. God Bless.
Ms. Makeda Holden
September 29, 2008
WOW...I was just surfing the net and you ran across my mind. I remember when I first met you. You are truly a gentle giant...a very sweet and respectful person. I can remember exactly what I was doing when I heard the unfortunate news. Lj still talks about you and your picture sits in his room.
September 8, 2008
Big Luke....I am ashamed of myself, but - Happy Belated Birthday!!
July 28, 2008
Yesterday at the Arena Bowl in New Orleans, I sat next to De Shonda and her daughter, Mariah. I was very glad to get to meet them -- and felt much sympathy for them at the loss of their husband and father. I have a daughter the same age as Al Lucas -- my heart goes out to De Shonda, Mariah and Al Lucas' mother. Again, I was very glad I got to talk to them. If they are ever in New Orleans again, I would like to hear from them -- if they would like. email -
Phyllis Knapp
July 15, 2008
I can't believe it has been three years. I think back to our years as teenagers and remember all the fun we had at our track meets and football games. You are a very important part of a lot of people's lives and I know my thoughts of you will be with me forever. May God continue to bless the Lucas family and continue to watch over them.
Ashly Rhoden
June 27, 2008
Everytime I get this e-mail site I am reminded of a great young man that life was take way to soon. But in his legacy Al left behind so many wonderful memories and I know that lives have been changed due to his umtimely death. Having lost a son at an early age, I just have to think that My Chris has met Al and they are playing on a team in heaven. The Lucas family is such a special family and I cherish them very much. Al was a wonderful person and I am proud everytime that someone comes to my office and see the picture of Al that hangs in my office and I get to tell them about him. He will always live on at Troy University.
Judy Morgan
June 24, 2008
You all are such wonderful people and you really touch our hearts when you place these memorials to Al. He loved almost everyone he met and tried to help. Keep us all in your prayers. We miss him very much too.
Elaine Lucas, (Mom)
June 23, 2008
"Big Luke" is still missed by all! We love you Lucas Family and you will always be in our prayers.

The Searcy, Waller, and Staten Families
Marcia Waller-Searcy
June 21, 2008
I'm not sure how I came across your guest book, but I feel it was for a reason. This is one of your old team mates from Northeast. Man, you were a trip in high school and you started with me every day. You made me laugh and some times mad, but half the stuff you did was to funny to get mad about. I learned a lot from you. I never told you that because I was always trying to be better. You were a very talented person. You played sports year round. The last time we came in contact was at Mercer University in Macon,Ga. You were training there during the summer. I came up there to do the same thing, so we worked out together. You showed me some of the things you learned in the Pros. Well Al, i just wanted to say that I read a lot of the passages people have entered about you and must say that I am impressed. You have touched so many peoples lives. All the time i spent in high school trying to be better than you, I should have spent trying to be just like you. I just realized that you were an angel on earth. I can only wish to accomplish half of the things have done and only attempt to touch as many people that you have touched. People are still reaching out to you, including me at this moment. I hope people remember me like this one day. Al, look out for your boy as I try to live my life for the better and attempt to follow in your steps towards the Lord.You are missed.
Your boy, Keivie Freeman
Keivie Freeman
May 19, 2008
Damn, Al, 3 years already. It seems like yesterday we were all joking around in the locker room after practice or in the cafeteria. I miss ya man!
May 18, 2008
I can't believe it's been 3 years!!!! You are dearly missed!!!!

Love you always
Tara Honer
April 14, 2008
Every day at Troy University I pass by a huge portrait of Al Lucas that hangs in my office very proudly - I always smile and remember the truly good time we had with him and his Wonderful family - David and Elaine you are my friends and I love you all dearly - Thanks for the memories - I am blessed to have been a part of such a wonderful family -
Judy Morgan
April 11, 2008
So grateful to have known you Al. I will miss you always.... Y.
Ysheka Mitchell
April 10, 2008
You all are so kind and thoughtful. We love you as Al did. It is so nice to know that you all still remember our Al and love him still.
David & Elaine Lucas and the Family
April 10, 2008
Big Al,

Never got to say good bye brother, I know you are truely missed and loved by your friends and family.

Godspeed and God bless, Keep the faith.

Jeremy Staat
April 10, 2008
To the Lucas Family,
I knew there was a reason I had the need to come here the other day...I honestly felt Big Luke. I can't believe today is 3 years that he left all of us. He might be gone, but he has NEVER been forgotten and we all love him still. I'm actually numb as I type this. Do know that we are all here for you and you are all loved so much. The entire Storm Family has not forgotten.
Patty Tydings
April 10, 2008
LA still misses you, 76.

To the Lucas family, you are in our hearts and minds whenever the new season begins but especially now.

Peace be with you and yours.
April 10, 2008
April 10, 2008
The fans of the Arena League still support the Lucas family. We haven't forgotten.
Jordan Hahn
April 10, 2008
To the Lucas Family... My thoughts and prayers remain with all of you. Al is always in my hearts and will never be forgotten. #76 will not be forgotten.
Brian Fox
April 10, 2008
Just a note that the Avengers 9th Man have not forgotten #76. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and hope all of you are doing well.
Brian Fox
April 10, 2008
It has been 3 years since the passing of Al and all his Avenger extended family miss him very much. The entire Lucas family will always be in our hearts are prayers.

Al will forever be the #1 ironman.
Larry Lieberman
April 9, 2008
We miss you Al. you will always be in our thoughts and prayers
Casey P
April 6, 2008
Something made me come here,,,its been awhile, but i swear i felt Big Luke's presence. I think about you I do Caroline Wiren (Nyle Wiren's wife, Nyle played with Al here in Tampa). Keep her safe Big Luke....I know you too are sending your love down to all here that love and miss you.
Patty Tydings
February 28, 2008
Lucas Family,

No matter how much time passes, it can never heal the passing of someone so special to so many people. I want to thank God and The Family for allowing us to be a part of their family by blessing us with knowing Al. After reading all condolences below, I know there is no question Big Al is still touching lives everyday. May God continue to bless this family.
Yarvis Pringle
February 15, 2008
Almost three years since you left us and we still grieve and miss you. We know that you are always nearby looking over us who love you still.
January 19, 2008
We love you, Al.

Mom and Dad
David & Elaine Lucas
January 19, 2008
Lucas Family,

The AFL is once again getting ready for a new season. Please know that the fans in Los Angeles miss Al very much and are prayers are with your family through out the year.
Peggy Ayala
January 17, 2008
For Mariah, Dadde I love you so much. I know you watch over and protect me. I still ask questions and tell others about you. I am encouraged to live right in your name. Your spirit is with her.
De'Shonda Lucas
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