Tech. Sgt. Dashan Briggs was among the seven service members killed in the crash of a U.S. HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopter in western Iraq March 15. Photo: Facebook

In a special ceremony prior to the start of Saturday’s home game, the Riverhead Blue Waves football team will retire the uniform number of Tech. Sgt. Dashan Briggs, Riverhead High School Class of 2007.

Briggs, 30, was one of seven military personnel who died in a helicopter crash in western Iraq March 15. Briggs and three others aboard the HH-60 Pave Hawk were members of the 106th Air National Guard in Westhampton Beach. The decorated airman was married and the father of two young children.

During his high school career in Riverhead, Briggs was an outside linebacker and a running back for the Blue Waves varsity football team.

He wore uniform number 22.

“He was one of the great ones, a true leader,” Riverhead football head coach Leif Shay told RiverheadLOCAL in March. “He exemplified what it means to be a man.”

Briggs was tough and smart as a player. “He had great intelligence. He always knew he had a future. I always knew he would do great things,” Shay said.

The ceremony will take place at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Coach Mike McKillop Memorial Field.

The Blue Waves host Centereach Saturday afternoon at 1:30.

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.