BIRMINGHAM Ala. (WIAT)– It has been less than two months since Deputy Brad Johnson was killed in the line of duty in Bibb County. A high school football team is now planning to honor Deputy Johnson and other first responders. as the season kicks off.

Bibb County High School assistant principal and football coach, Matt Geohagen, says their football team plans to wear Deputy Johnson’s badge number on the back of their helmets all season starting Friday night to honor him and his sacrifice.

To the Bibb County High School football team, badge number 706 is more than just a number.

Geohagen says, to his team, wearing this badge number represents the legacy of Deputy Johnson and the sacrifice he made for their community.

He says Deputy Johnson was a great man and wonderful officer. The example he led for others will live with them forever.

“We just feel like this is an opportunity to kind of spotlight that and make sure that we have that at the forefront of our mind because this man gave the ultimate sacrifice to keep our community safe,” said Geohagen.

Geohagen says the loss of Deputy Johnson has been tough for Bibb County and many are still hurting in the community.

The goal is to honor and serve Deputy Johnson’s legacy just as he served the community and school system.

“I don’t know if this gesture is going to take any part in healing anything, but it’s just a way to kind of let people know that you’re not alone,” said Geohagen. “that we recognize what happened- that we are with you.”

Geohagen says Friday night’s opener will also have a pre-game ceremony honoring not only Deputy Johnson, but all local first responders.

To spotlight their service and daily sacrifice, first responders will present the game ball and will also be invited to stand with the football team on the field. 

Mayor Pro Tem and retired police chief, Mike Nichols, says he is thankful for the school’s support.

“This is all for brad- trying to remember brad,” said Nichols. “We don’t need to let the flame blow out and that’s why we’re doing this and to also show unity amongst all the law enforcement in Bibb County.”

Nichols says Deputy Johnson will never be forgotten and he hopes a strong unity will continue to be shared amongst all Bibb County first responders.