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Parkersburg Coach

Parkersburg Coach

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Defensive end Jared DeVries left practice this morning at Detroit Lions minicamp after learning his high school football coach was shot and killed in Iowa.�We got him off the practice field right when that last period was beginning to inform him of that and to let him start to deal with that,� coach Jim Schwartz said.

�That�s a tragedy.�A gunman shot Aplington-Parkersburg coach Ed Thomas in the school�s weight room about 8 a.m.

today, the Associated Press reported.

Several students were in the room at the time, but no one else was injured in the attack.Thomas, the 2005 NFL high school coach of the year, was airlifted to a hospital and died, his family said in a statement.A 24-year-old former player was arrested at a nearby home a short time later, authorities said.

Mark Becker is charged with first-degree murder and was being held in Butler County jail.The gunman was being held in Butler County Jail.

Authorities would not say if the gunman was a student at the school.

But school district board secretary Sue Miller said she had heard he was not.DeVries was unavailable for comment.�There are special relationships in life,� Schwartz said.

�There�s fathers and sons.

There�s sisters and brothers and things like that.

And there�s a special relationship between a coach and a player, particularly in high school when boys are developing into men.

I think everybody�s going to have to be there for Jared to help him through this.�Free Press news services contributed to this report.
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