Saladine before the
'08 City All-Star Game
Saladine Walker Tribute Page
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Saladine Walker, a 2008 graduate of
Imhotep Charter Institute, where he was a starting two-way tackle, passed
away 9/19/08 at Valley Forge Military, where he was studying and
likewise playing football for the school's junior college team. Imhotep
football coach Marc Wilson said Saladine was close "with pretty much
everyone" at Imhotep and was "always upbeat and positive." He also described
him as "the team comedian."
Information on services: viewing, Friday, 8:30 to
11 a.m., at Deliverance Evangelistic Church, 20th and
Lehigh. Service to follow.
COL Michael Krause, Dean of VFM's College, is establishing the Cadet Saladine Walker Memorial Fund
to assist the family in their time of need.
Donations may be sent to:
The Cadet Saladine Walker Memorial Fund
c/o COL Michael D. Krause, Ph.D.
Dean of the College
Valley Forge Military College
1001 Eagle Road
Wayne, PA 19087
Checks should be made out to “Valley Forge Military Academy & College – Walker Memorial Fund”
Click here to see a pic of Saladine from the '07 season. He's No. 61, in background.
Your Contributions . . .
I just wanted to express how good a young
man Saladine Walker was in the brief time I got to know him. I saw the posting
and was shocked, I can remember speaking to Saladine about his choices for
football at the next level. He was bright, and as far as football he was one of
the better players I have seen at the high school level. My heart is with his
Saladine's presence will be missed. A beautiful soul that holds a special place in many hearts.
-- Shelah (parent of football player)
It was truly my pleasure to have known Saladine and to have been able to coach him. I often teased him calling him “Fat Albert” and would greet him with a hearty “Hey, hey hey!” He would always laugh and say something smart back. Then I would chase him around for a few. For a big kid he could really run! That is how I will choose to remember Saladine, as a playful and humble young man. I’m beyond sad that he transitioned so early, but I am blessed that I was able to have shared time with him while he was here. “Dine, you will always be a part of me.”
-- Coach Marc
I came to know Saladine in 2005 during his sophomore year, and my first
year as a volunteer assistant with Imhotep. As the offensive and
defensive line coach, I spent a lot of time with Saladine and came to
appreciate and admire his commitment and dedication to his team.
Saladine had a bright and inviting personality that always announced his
arrival.....late at times but none the less an arrival. Not only was I
impressed with the athletic skills that he developed in the three years
we spent together, I was also impressed with the polite mannerisms that
this young man presented. Words cannot express the pain that I feel
right now knowing that a young man trying to do the right thing in life
will not have the opportunity to have his family and friends see him
become a success. And not just with regards to football, but a success
as a person. I have always taught our players that I do not care if
they ever play a down of football in college or make it to the N.F.L..
If a player of mine is able to attend college and not face the financial
responsibility that many of us faced, then I feel that I have done my
Although I was disappointed that Saladine was unable to accept the
scholarship to West Chester, I was relieved to learn that he had a plan
B and would continue to pursue his education as well as play the sport
we both loved. I know he loved the sport if he was able to put up with
me. And I felt so much P.R.I.D.E. when Salad became my first lineman to
play in the all-star game, a fete that I did not accomplish. However,
like any parent, all I want is for my players to do better than I did,
and I honestly feel that he was on his way to great things.
My thoughts and prayers are with his parents, his brother Tyreese and
the rest of his family. Salad helped Imhotep football become a
competitive force in the public league and will forever be a Panther.
There will be many that will come after him, and they will all have to
live up to the life and accomplishments of one Saladine Walker.
-- Coach Will
Offensive/Defensive Line Coach
In my one year at imhotep i made a lot of friends but none were like him. never let anyone bring him down. he was always in a good mood and when he saw someone who was in a bad mood he'd put a smile on there face. probably one of the funniest people i know. he was a beast on the field who always gave 100% and doin it with a smile on his face. u had no choice but to love him. seems like yesterday we were at prom riding around town not knowing where we were going but having the time of our lives. sal im gona miss u man. but im sure u are in a better place lookin over all of us. we graduated as brothers.and you'll always be that.Love u cuz....
-- Miguel Bocachica, Imhotep '08
Saladine Walker was a great friend. He was always happy and never had a frown on his face. He was a great friend to have and was like a brother to me and many others. Saladine you will be truly missed and never forgotten. R.I.P Saladine Walker
-- Shawn Rodgers
When I first saw Saladine on film for the all-star selection process I immediately knew that I wanted him to be my nose tackle. When I started to coach Saladine, I knew that he was an intelligent, humble , and focused young man. His dominance and skill on the football field were a result of his never quit attitude. He practiced hard and always gave 100%. But more important his character and attitude made him who he was on the field and off the field. He will truly be missed and he is one of the finest young men I have ever coached. My thoughts and prayers are with the Walker family. This is truly a big loss to the Philadelphia public league family.
-- Mark Effendian
Assistant Head Coach Bartram
My prayers go out to the family of Saladine Walker. It is times like this that we all need to pray. Even though his journey down here on earth has ended, always remember the person that he was and that God is welcoming him with open arms to be apart of the all-time great football team in Heaven. Peace be unto you and may you all find healing during these difficult times.
-- Ben Franklin Electrons Football mom
Saladine Walker was more than a teammate or a fellow student he was a
big brother from day 1. he was always someone i could look up to and
go to for answers. words can not describe how much you are truly
missed by many. I still can not cope with the fact that your gone I
had just spoken to you 2 days ago everything was fine and you were
doing good. you will always be missed and just know for now on i just
do not play this game for myself I play for you also. this season is
dedicated to you R.I.P SALADINE WALKER #61
---RICHARD KIRVEN (FORMER TEAMMATE)
When I received the news late Friday evening, I couldn't believe what I heard. In all my years of teaching, I have never lost a student, and it hurts. Along with my husband (Coach Will-Assistant Coach Imhotep Football) I share this loss because I am one of his former teachers. I had the pleasure of knowing Saladine and watch him grow as a freshman to a senior then become a graduate. Saladine was a member of the Kwazulu nation and was part of my Ourstory class during his 9th and part of 10th grade year. He left Imhotep for a brief period and then returned. I remember when he and his brother returned how happy they both were to see their friends and most of all continue playing football. Saladine encountered many challenges as a high school senior but you would never know this due to his unforgettable smile, charm, and great personality. From time to time he would come and talk to me, give me hugs, and always went out of his way to show other students (who may have had a hard time adjusting to the "Tep" how to hang in there, and most of all "listen to Mama E!") I am always fond of my male students who remain polite and go out of their way to show respect to female teachers. Saladine along with his brother Tyrese are two of the most polite, and respectful students I have had the pleasure of knowing. Our prayers are with our Imhotep brother Tyrese (know your brother is still by your side) and your entire family. You will be missed but never forgotten, I will keep your smile embraced in my heart and mind forever. Protect, and watch us all... for your memory will push your peers, teamates, and family to stay strong. (Ase)
-- Love, Sis. Kelli Everett (Mama E), Imhotep Facilitator
I was very saddened when I heard the news of Saladine’s passing. I remember hearing and reading about Saladine and his great talents on Tedsilary.com. I got the privilege to play with him this past May in the Philadelphia City All-Star game. In those couple of weeks I got to know a fierce competitor, who gave his all every play. It was so much fun playing Linebacker behind Saladine, and although the outcome of the game was not what we had wished for, it is something that I will always remember. Saladine was a scary and intimidating player on the field, but probably one of the nicest people I’ve ever met off the field. In those few weeks I got to know a great football player and a great human being that will surely be missed. The entire public league feels this great loss, and I know I will always remember him. My prayers and thoughts go out to his family in this great time of need.
--Kyle Yeiter Central High #14
There are many hearts broken at the lost of this young man. I was privileged to get to know him during the 2008 All Star Game and at Valley Forge Military College. I was as proud of him as I was for my own son Randolph as they both made the transitions from high school to college, and not just a regular college; but a military college. It was so funny when they both had to shave their heads. They looked like babies again, but they were far from that. Saladine never lost his smile and helped all of the plebes remain encouraged with a joke or a song. He played two awesome games, that I was able to attend. Boy, could he tackle! Radford University and Widener University will surely remember those hits. In true Saladine form he said "thank you, ma'am", when I praised him on a great game. He was looking forward to going to Virginia on Saturday and had just spoken to my son about: sharing a room with him, getting a surprise visit from his family with his new laptop and ultimately hitting Randolph up for some Oreos before leaving. When I arrived on the campus, after we learned of Saladine's passing, the guys and staff were shocked, but they were united in a unique way. They cried together, prayed together and of course shared funny stories together about Saladine. Some kind a way I would like to believe that God gave each teammate the gift of Saladine. His tremendous and tenacious spirit will motivate them all to continue their journey while encouraging someone along the way, just as Saladine did. I will pray for his family, friends, teammates, and every person Saladine ever touched.
When I first came to Imhotep, Saladine told me he was going to make me into a great player. He made that happen. Sal would push, push, and push me until I got better. Everything I know is because of him. Everything that I can do so well is because of him. He is gone but not forgotten. Now I have to use everything he taught me and be the best football player I can be. I will miss Saladine. Everything I do on the field will be for him. R.I.P Saladine Walker #61.
-- George Gaines (Former Teammate)
When I received this shocking information about my former teammate/friend I was more than heart broken I couldn't believe it do to the fact that I just had a conversation with him the day before about our college choices. He told me he wanted to go to school with someone that he went to high school with and I was the guy that he wanted to do that with. Saladine and I have been teammates and friends since my soph year and he showed me great pride and confidence in everything he did especially on the feild. We both played together in the Philadelphia All-Star game along with three other teammates and he was very productive. Saladine will be sadly missed, loved, and adored by many of his peers and family and I will play my heart out for him. My condolences goes out to his family and Dean I will always remember you and take you with me on the field.
-- Gerald "G-Weezy" Bowman #2 ICHS (former Teammate)
It is so refreshing to hear such wonderful comments about such a wonderful young man. I know Dean to be a man full of love, happiness, determination, and full of...... DRAMA! Why? Because I know him as my son in one of the many theatrical experiances that we had together. Even after our family play, he would still give me that "bear hug" and call me MoM. I love that teddy bear and I am just so happy that he accepted Christ as his personal savior, and shared that declaration with those that knew him. His love for God and people is truly an inspiration. I count it a privilege to have met him and his brother Reese, for they both mean more to me than they will ever realize. In closing I will leave you all with this, Dean is bringing a whole lot of laughs and smiles to the Kingdom of heaven ! Thank you Jesus!
-- Denise Bond
It seems like yesterday that I held this little smiley brown
baby in my arms, begging my Aunt Ree if I could feed and
change him. I watched him grow up, get his driver's license,
go on the prom, and then off to college. It almost doesnt
seem real that God has called my little cousin home so soon.
Feels like he's still away at school and will return for the
next break. As I know that's not the case, I will say that I
am truly grateful for the life that Dean lived while here on
earth. I am thankful that he knew the Lord, though not
perfect, he acknowledged where he came from. Words can not
express how much me and my family will miss laughing and
joking with him on holidays, or how much we'll miss yelling
our lungs out at his games. But one thing I know, if any of
us want to see him again, we have to get things right while
we still have a chance. I believe my cousin is in Heaven this
very moment and I cant wait to see him again. The bible says
in Romans 10:9," That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus
is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from
the dead, you will be saved." May God bless us all to get to
know Him better than before:-)
It has taken me awhile to come to grips with the loss of my nephew. As a servant of God and minister of the Gospel I've experienced many home goings and the feelings that normally accompany the loss of a loved one. I understand full well that we serve a God who knows all and does all in accordance to His will and I don't question or argue decisions that He makes. I've had the joy of watching both Saladine and Tyerese grow from bouncing baby boys to outstanding young men. I partnered with many of our family members in their up-bringing. Yet having been through so many of these heartbreaking moments; this particular one has greatly affected me in ways that I can't even fathom. No longer will I hear " what's up uncle Eddie!" nor will I be asked "hey unc, are you coming to my game?" Dean was the portrait of promise in a young mans life and the decisions he made. I remain very proud of his accolades on the gridiron; but more importantly, I'm so proud of his accomplishments off the field of play. Dean had the ability to overcome adversity in a way that even many adults can't seem to grasp. I've learned an awful lot as a minister just watching him and Tyrese interact with their peers no matter where they lived. To have the kind of impact on the many lives he touched in his brief stay on earth can only be described as "Heaven Sent". Not many who knew him understood the height and depth of obstacles he faced from the time of his birth till his untimely passing; and though many will remember him as the joyful jokester, encouraging friend, big teddy bear, and beast on the football field; I'll remember Dean as a pillar of strength. A great preacher once said "the way we live should speak so loud, that no one can hear a word we say..." Dean demonstrated the life and love of Christ by simply living, and to that end he finished his course. For those who love and miss him, I encourage you to follow the example and legacy that he left behind..."LIVE FOR CHRIST" Big Dean I'll always love you and cherish your memory...
-- Uncle Eddie...aka..Rev. John Odom