Louisiana Tech players pen letters to Clemson DL Bryan Bresee after sister, Ella, dies of brain cancer


Louisiana Tech’s football team showed its support for Clemson defensive lineman Bryan Bresee during Saturday’s Week 3 game against the Tigers following the death of his younger sister, Ella. Bulldog players sent hand-written notes addressed to Bresee and his family after Ella died earlier in the week of brain cancer at just 15 years old. 

Additionally, Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Cumbie wore a shirt with the phrase #E11AStrong on the front, with the 11 representing Bresee’s number. 

“I didn’t know Sonny Cumbie, but he forever has a fan in me,” said Clemson coach Dabo Swinney following the 48-20 win. “Class guy … class act. His whole football team. He came out with an #E11AStrong shirt. He wrote a note. I think his team wrote letters. It just makes my heart smile. In this competitive world we live in, there are people out there like Sonny Cumbie and that LaTech crowd. Class group. And I appreciate that gesture.”

The Tigers wore the special #E11AStrong shirts during their home opener against Furman on Sept. 10 to celebrate Ella, who was originally going to attend that game and serve as an honorary team captain, but ultimately couldn’t make it as she had a medical setback. After the team’s 35-12 victory in which Bresee registered two tackles a quarterback hurry, he left town to be with his family. 

Bresee announced this past Thursday that Ella had died after her lengthy battle with cancer. 

“My beautiful sister Ella you amazed me every single day with the fight that you put up and how joyful you were constantly through this battle. Never did I think I would be sitting here today saying bye to you,” Bresee wrote. “I want to thank you for bringing happiness to not only me but so many people. You are the best sister a brother could ask for and I know for a fact heaven has gained a beautiful angel today, Love you forever and always Ella bear.”

Earlier this week, Bresee was nominated for the Orange Bowl Courage Award — an annual award given to an individual who displays courage on or off the field.

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