orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Sports Headlines

January 21, 2009

Dronett, former BC great, NFL standout, passes away at 38

Orange County lost one of its finest Wednesday morning.

Shane Dronett, 38, a Bridge City native and former National Football League standout, was found deceased at his home close to Atlanta, Ga. Wednesday.

Dronett was an All-State player at Bridge City High School and was a 1989 graduate of the school.

An autopsy is being performed to determine the cause of his death. Services are pending at Claybar Funeral Home.

He was married to wife Kris and had two daughters, Berkley and Hayley.

Dronett went on to become a First Team All-American at The University of Texas in 1991 and played for the Denver Broncos and the Atlanta Falcons. He played in the Super Bowl for the Falcons after the 1998 season.

“It was truly a shock to hear,” said Bridge City high school principal Richard Briggs, who coached Dronett in his early coaching days on the Bridge City campus. “My first years at Bridge City, I was fortunate enough to coach kids like Shane and Jason Mathews (who also went on to play in the NFL). They made my life easy, that’s for sure. I just remember that big old smile Shane had throughout high school. He’s one of those kids, that right off the bat I thought, ‘this kid will be playing on Sundays.”

The Bridge City school district was rattled with the news.

“From the entire school district, our thoughts and prayers are with his entire family,” said Briggs. “We extend our deepest sympathies to them. He always represented Bridge City so well and he’s what you’d like to call a ‘native son.’”

Vidor head football coach Jeff Mathews watched Dronett grow up around the likes of his brother Jason, who went on to star at Texas A&M; University and in the NFL, mainly with the Tennessee Titans.

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