Harrison Hoyas Mourn the Loss
of One of Their Own
The story at the
bottom of this page appeared in today's Atlanta-Journal Constitution
regarding Luke Abbate, a junior lacrosse player at Harrison High School.
Abbate died Tuesday night from injuries sustained in a car accident that
took place as he and four teammates were going home from lacrosse practice
on Monday. In lieu of flowers, the Abbate family has asked that
donations be made to the Luke Abbate Memorial Scholarship Fund in care of
the following address:
Northwest Bank and Trust
3891 Cobb Parkway
Acworth, GA 30101
Any letters and notes sent to the bank with
donations will be forwarded to the Abbate Family.
The visitation will
be held Friday, February 17th from 1:00 PM until 8:00 PM at Carmichael
Funeral Home on Whitlock Avenue in Marietta. The funeral will be
Sunday, February 18th at 1:00 PM at the West Ridge Church on Highway 92 in
Copied and pasted from the AJC ...
Harrison schoolmates remember
By DON PLUMMER
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 02/16/06
Students at west Cobb County's Harrison High
are planning to gather this morning to remember a student killed this week
in a single-car crash, which also injured four of his fellow lacrosse
players. Harrison junior Luke Abbate died Tuesday at an Atlanta
hospital, police and school officials said. The other Harrison
students - Zack Barrett, Mitchell Steele, Brandon Lane, Travis Schmidt -
were injured in the Monday evening crash near Powder Springs, and all but
Barrett remain hospitalized, family members and coaches said.
"There will be an opportunity for students to get together before school for
a chance to share feelings and memories of the student," Cobb schools
spokesman Jay Dillon said. "The principal will allow students to leave
items commemorating the student's life at the school flagpole."
Abbate, 15, was a passenger in the car. No charges had been filed in the
accident as of Wednesday afternoon, police spokesman Dana Pierce said.
"Our traffic investigators are still working at the scene to reconstruct the
crash," Pierce said.
The crash occurred at 7 p.m. Monday on Crew
Lane near Trail Drive in Powder Springs.
Today's student gathering, which is not open to the public, is scheduled to
begin at 7:15 a.m. in the school gym, Dillon said.
Cobb schools Superintendent Fred Sanderson called Abbate's death "a sad
occasion for the Harrison community. There is nothing more devastating
than the loss of a child," Sanderson said. "Our hearts go out to the boy's
family, as well as to the families of all the students involved in the
The lacrosse team narrowly missed the state playoffs in 2005. Six starters,
including Schmidt, are back this season. The team had made the state
semifinals in 2004. Today's scheduled game against Kennesaw Mountain
was canceled. The next Harrison boys lacrosse game is scheduled for
Wednesday at Walton.
Lacrosse coach John Hunter also coached Luke in football. He called the
youngster a complete athlete. "You look for kids that are 'an
athlete,' and he was an athlete," Hunter said Wednesday. "He saw the
field well and could take advantage of other people's weaknesses, and he was
very much a leader and a team player.''
Luke also was passionate about his studies, Hunter said. "He was one
that wanted to make a difference in the right ways. He wanted to set a
standard in the classroom and on the field," Hunter said. "He was a
very passionate person. He loved life, was a good friend to people, was a
good team leader and a good son.''
Steele and Lane are both rising stars on the junior varsity boys' lacrosse
team, Hunter said. The other boys are members of the varsity, Hunter said.
Miracle Austin said her son Jamal had been a close friend of Luke's since
grade school. "He was a great student and has unbelievable parents,"
said Austin, a member of board of directors of Harrison Hoyas football
Luke's father, Steve Abbate, is a past president of the football booster
club and his mother, Maryanne, served as its treasurer, Austin said.
Renee Cain said her son Blake played on Harrison's varsity football team
with Luke when both were sophomores. "Our families have been friends
since Blake and Luke played together on the Due West football recreational
league team," Cain said. "They were close, like brothers." Cain said
she hopes the tragedy will become a caution to other teens. "I don't
know how this can come to any good," she said. "Maybe it will make kids be
While a sophomore, Abbate made the varsity football squad as a 5-foot,
7-inch, 158-pound wide receiver and linebacker, according to the 2005
Harrison football roster.
Luke and his brothers and sister are widely known among students and faculty
at Harrison. Luke's older brother Jonathan Abbate was the Cobb County
football defensive player of the year in 2002 before going on to play at
Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., where he started as a
"Everyone around Wake Forest is very sad," university spokesman Mike Vest
said Wednesday. "Jon's family comes to almost every game. It's a very
close family, and the Wake Forest family is very close. We are very saddened
by what has happened."
Jonathan Abbate flew home early Tuesday morning to be with his family, Vest
Luke's older sister, Rachel Abbate, who has cerebral palsy, was voted the
school's homecoming queen in 2002. Jonathan escorted her onto the field
during homecoming ceremonies. Rachel's twin brother, Adam, attended Auburn.
Staff writers Diane Stepp, Todd Holcomb and Chandler Brown contributed to