By: Trenton Davis
Grief and tears filled the room as hundreds packed into the National Guard Armory in Quincy. Family, friends and schoolmates paid tributes to the memory of Crystal Riley. The family received several plaques in honor of Riley.
The fallen cheerleader was later honored at the East Gadsden High School football game. The night was originally set to honor seniors, but fans and players commemorated the life of Crystal Riley by presenting the family with a game ball. A relative of Riley also took part in the ceremonial coin toss.
The coin also remembered Camellia Byrd, a 16-year-old East Gadsden student who died in a car accident in August. Team members said Riley was more than a friend, she was a sister.
"Crystal, she was a nice young lady. She carry herself in a nicely manner. Every time we saw her she was always smiling," said Mildred Sheffield, a member of the East Gadsden High cheerleading squad.
"She was one of those people that every time you see her you will always be happy ‘cause she was happy," said Deandrea Joseph, a close friend of Crystal Riley.
A scholarship was designated for the East Gadsden High cheerleading squad in memory of Crystal Riley. The City of Quincy also pronounced Oct. 6 as Crystal Riley Day.