Sad news from Tallahassee’s Godby High School. Godby head coach Shelton Crews tells us Johnny Smith died early Wednesday morning in the hospital where he was being observed for pneumonia.
The school broke the news to students and faculty Wednesday afternoon.
And Wednesday night, they did what they knew Johnny would want them to do, play football.
There was something missing at the Godby-Rickards High School JV football match-up. A teammate, a classmate, a friend, the number 34, Johnny Smith.
"I was shocked, just shocked, couldn't say nothing,” shares teammate Marcell Neal.
The news of the ninth grader's death still doesn't seem real to classmates.
But his teammates still played, and played hard for their friend, wearing his number on wristbands. They'll wear his number for the rest of the season.
"This is a day they'd never forget, and I know this will be a day I'll never forget,” Crews says.
There were so many memories of Johnny Smith to share. Smiles came first to Johnny’s classmates as they told us stories of his positive attitude, his good looks and his sense of humor.
'The more I thought about it, I just remembered him more and all the little jokes and how he used to be crunk at all the games and he was one of our major players,” classmate Veronique Browning shares.
"He was very energetic, he loved to dance, he loved to sing, he did,” shares classmate Shamara Anderson.
He was only part of the Godby High family for a short time, but, he won't be forgotten.
"Maybe he was an angel to us that is what we can hope for,” Crews adds.
"We're going to try and win this for him, in his memory, that's how we feel about it.
We knew he really wanted to do this, we wanted to win it for him and the rest of the season,” share teammates Steven and Marcell.
An ironic twist, Godby took home the win with a score of 34, Johnny Smith's number to 20 over Rickards.
As you can imagine, Coach Crews tells us the win was a very emotional moment for the team.
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