As the unfortunate news spread across our community yesterday afternoon about the sudden death of Harris Middle School eighth grader Kenzell Hiles, many of us had thoughts of disbelief.
Kenzell apparently hadn't been feeling well and was complaining of headaches.
The cause of death is uncertain at this time and an autopsy will be performed.
Kenzell was an outstanding athlete and a valuable member of the Harris Middle School football team that won the Central Tennessee Conference bowl game over Coffee County this past season.
There's no doubt in my mind he had a very promising career ahead of him in high school.
The events life throws our way are often challenging and unfair. It's times like this that we must bond together and put things into perspective.
Even though I didn't know Kenzell very well, I did notice how he enjoyed life and the big smile that would come across his face when I saw him at football games.
He has countless family members that I'm very fond of and to them I offer my prayers.
It's times like this when this great small community shines the most.
I know that this community will be there for Kenzell's family and close friends as they attempt to understand why the life of a loved one was so short lived.
My thoughts and prayers also go out to the Harris Middle School administration, teachers and student body.
Gary Johnson is a sports writer for the Times-Gazette. Email him at email@example.com.