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Sheridan High School honors life of Austin Moody before its football game

Sheridan High School honors life of Austin Moody before its football game

Friday nights across the country is dedicated to one thing, high school football.

But in Sheridan, Arkansas, this Friday night, is dedicated to what's off the gridiron, and mainly, what's in the stands and on one patch of turf.

Sometimes, the most important thing, is what's not happening on the field.

"We would like to draw your attention to the white balloons throughout the stadium," said Ellie Mayberry, a senior at Sheridan High School.

Sometimes, it's as simple as honoring someone who was taken too early.

"It was pretty tough,” Mayberry recalled, “it was during the middle of the school day, 3rd period, when we all found out."

"He would have been a senior this year,” Lauren Goins, director of communications for Sheridan School District, said. “You couldn't help but think he should have been here with us."

And that's what's happening at Sheridan High School's matchup against Arkadelphia, where the student section, nicknamed the blue crew, dawned white shirts, to remember Austin Moody, a yellowjacket football player who was murdered back in January.

"Just seeing everyone decked out in their white,” said Mayberry, “we even had people in white shirt and white pants too."

So before a ball was snapped, before a tackle was made, there were prayers and a balloon release. To honor number 64.

"We are a very tight knit community here in Sheridan and when you lose somebody, especially tragically like we did, it's like losing a family member,” Goins said.

"It's just been really special how we've all kind of come together for Austin and just shows you what a community can really do and just to come together for a football game it's been great," Logan Ingram, a junior at Sheridan High School, said.

Sometimes, the most important thing isn't the score of the game.

"It's very touching and I couldn't be more proud of our students," said Goins.

Sometimes, the most important thing, is what's not happening on the field.

"Austin was a great friend, and we all miss him a whole lot," Mayberry said.

Along with the balloon release, the sonic in Sheridan, where Austin had worked, was offering Austin’s favorite drink, cranberry sweet tea, at half price today.

The students also wore white earlier in the year during a Sheridan basketball game in honor of moody.

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