Friday Night Football Honors Fallen Player
(Memphis) – For a moment you could here a pin drop, as the football stadium at Kirby High School went silent to remember Millington football player Dana Payne, who died following an injury on the football field Tuesday.
Through the heartbreak, his teammates were determined to play on. Arm and arm they walked onto the field united in tragedy and playing with a purpose.
“Everybody’s more hyped because they want to dedicate this game to Dana,” Millington student Caitlyn Matthews said.
“I know the trojans are playing just for him and we’re going to win this game,” Millington student Kylen Parker said.
Dana’s mother and her family arrived at the game to cheers. They carried a photo of Dana. His mom dressed in his jersey.
“He may be a local star but he’s a big star in my heart,” his mom said.
But the support for Dana was not just on one side of the field. While Millington players wore decals with Dana’s number on their helmets, Kirby High School wore black wristbands to honor Dana.
“I think that’s pretty school that they showed respect for other schools,” Millington student Jaycee Thompson said.
“The show of support from the schools all around the community with the wristbands and the decals and even painting their football field. Briarcrest tonight is painting theirs black and gold and putting his initials on the fifty-yard line,” Superintendent John Aitken said.
Because Friday night football wasn’t just about supporting your team, but about a community coming together to celebrate a life lost far too soon.
‘I know Dana would be smiling. He’s probably right there in sky smiling right now looking down upon us,” Parker said.
His school was certainly smiling after the game, Millington won 31-6.