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Roosevelt HS, Dakota Wesleyan coaches remember ‘positive’ player

Published: Jan. 25, 2021 at 6:50 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Dakota Wesleyan Athletic community along with those at Roosevelt High School are mourning the loss of a former football player Monday.

Emmanuel Christopher, who graduated from Roosevelt in 2016 and went on to play for DWU, passed away over the weekend leaving a legacy of positivity, energy, and a contagious smile.

The athletic community here at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell is coming together to remember one of their former athletes. Somebody that many called a friend, and a teammate.

From Sioux Falls Roosevelt to Dakota Wesleyan, coaches always knew there was something special about Emmanuel “Manny” Christopher.

“His smile was so big; it was oversized almost his whole face lit up and he smiled a lot,” said Roosevelt Football Coach Kim Nelson.

“Not very often will you get a player that is that spark plug, that is that energy guy that kind of gets everybody going. That’s one thing, but to be that guy and celebrate others’ success that’s who Manny was,” said DWU Football Coach Ross Cimpl.

Christopher was a Defensive End for the Tigers, where he was known for his energy and passion. However, it wasn’t just his work on the field that made him stand out.

”One thing that I will always remember is he would kind of recognize maybe if I was having a bad day, or maybe got upset about something he would try to change the subject or flip it right away. I think guys noticed that,” Cimpl said.

”He was one of those guys who just lit up the room when he came in,” Higher Power Sports’ Tim Weidenbach said.

After playing his last snap in college in 2019, Christopher was a volunteer assistant coach for the Rough Riders.

Continuing to show his passion for people and football. It’s that passion, energy, and kindness that made him a one of a kind.

“Those kids don’t come around very often, and the way he went about every day he was always there,” Cimpl said.

“There’s not another one like Manny, and to have him gone so young is hard to deal with,” Nelson added.

After graduating from DWU last year, Christopher was in the process of receiving his MBA.

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