Rickards High School cheerleaders extended sentiments and condolences to East Gadsden High cheerleaders, a showing of respect in honor of Crystal Riley, a member of the Jaguars junior varsity cheer squad.
Riley died tragically last week after being hit by a car following East Gadsden's homecoming game, a loss that affected more than just the Jags.
"We couldn't imagine losing one of our members of our family, so we wanted to let them know that we're here and that it’s okay and there's hope," said Kirsty Grant, a Rickards High School cheerleader.
Emotions were running deep as the girls continued cheering. They were shedding tears before the start of the game, but found the strength to carry on, a gesture the coaches say is a tribute to Riley and what she would have wanted.
"If we don't keep cheering it’s like everything is in vain. All the things we said and the things we done this week is all in vain if we don't keep cheering," said Angela Sapp, East Gadsden head cheerleader coach.
Friends said Riley was like a light that never turns off and her spirit was lighting the stadium Friday night.
The Rickards High cheerleaders gave the East Gadsden cheerleaders a teddy bear with a heart reading “Crystal Riley” in commemoration of Riley.