CALERA, Ala. (WIAT) — Calera High School football players carried Brayden Ray’s jersey onto the field during Friday night’s football game, with many mourning the tragic loss of of young man gone too soon.
Friday night’s game was the first without him since his death in a single-car crash early Sunday morning along Highway 70. He was given the title of honorary captain following his unexpected death early Sunday morning.
Kirkland is one of many Calera High School parents who was heartbroken to hear about Brayden’s death.
“They say he was a loving caring young man. I mean they were saying he always smiled,” Tikisha Kirkland said.
Kirkland says the community has rallied around his family and teammates during this difficult time.
“Everybody’s been calling each other, reaching out, praying. Just trying to be there for the family as a whole,” Kirkland said.
That outpour of support continued at Friday night’s game with a moment of silence, banners with his name and a few of his loved ones gifted with flowers and cards.
“This is just great being out here and showing that family support,” Kirkland said.
Calera High School football coach Hamlin declined to speak about the loss. Calera High School Principal Christopher Myles told CBS 42 that Brayden was a bright student who will be missed.