James Hodge received the news about 3 p.m. Wednesday: One of his semipro football players, Jordyn Clemons, was found shot to death in an Arlington apartment.
Hodge, the coach and owner of the Arlington Seahawks, had heard similar news before. Another Seahawks player, Josh Khouri, was shot and killed in Irving in 2014, and a player this summer was shot in the head in Dallas but survived.
“We’ve been around three years,” Hodge said, “and this is the third time this has happened.”
Clemons, 20, who played high school football at Arlington Lamar, was killed Wednesday morning.
Officers had responded to a shooting call in the 1000 block of Benge Drive, near the University of Texas at Arlington, and found Clemons and another man, Johnathan Phillips, 25, dead of apparent gunshot wounds.
Clemons was in a recliner and Phillips at a desk chair, according to the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office.
Police did not release further details, and no suspects have been identified.
Family members of both men could not be reached Thursday.
But at Lamar, assistant coach Billy Skinner mourned Clemons’ loss.
Skinner, the Vikings’ defensive coordinator, coached Clemons in 2014, when he earned honorable mention all-district as a senior.
He had his struggles, just like a lot of kids we deal with, but he was one of those who you knew had a good heart.
Billy Skinner, defensive coordinator at Arlington Lamar who coached Jordyn Clemons.
“He had his struggles, just like a lot of kids we deal with, but he was one of those who you knew had a good heart,” Skinner said. “He wasn’t a starter for us, but he worked his butt off like a starter every day. He was a kid who you liked to have on your side.”
After playing for Lamar, Clemons joined the Seahawks.
The team, which plays a spring schedule, is partly designed to help players who want to try out for college teams. To avoid collegiate rules violations, players aren’t paid, and they have to buy their own equipment.
But Hodge, the Seahawks’ coach, also views his team has an outlet for his players.
“We try to get them together so they can release themselves from the normal stresses of life,” Hodge said. “If we send guys to a college, that’s good, but we tell them they can be whatever they want.”
Before one game last season, the team’s jerseys arrived at Hodge’s home with no numbers or names.
So Clemons and other players came over and worked through the night, using irons to prep their uniforms for a game later that day.
Clemons “was really passionate about the game,” Hodge said. “He had a couple little trials in his life that were making it hard for him, but he was a real standout guy.”