Huntington pays tribute to Smith

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 24, 2000

FERRIDAY, La. –&160;The Huntington High parking lot was near empty early Monday afternoon, as were many of the hearts of those in attendance that morning.

Early Monday, a special ceremony was held in the Huntington gym for Eric Smith, a Huntington junior athlete was killed in a one-car accident Saturday afternoon in Ferriday.

Students from seventh grade through 12th grade filled the gym, while family members sat on the gym floor.

Email newsletter signup

Smith’s junior classmates sat on portable bleachers on the stage.

Huntington High principal Russ Green spoke to the students and family.

&uot;I told them that Huntington is more than a school, it’s a family,&uot;&160;Green said. &uot;Our family lost a brother and our family lost a son.&uot;

Green said those entering the gym were handed an Oreo cookie and a Dr. Pepper.

&uot;(Huntington junior) Trey Mason told everyone he remembers Eric coming to his home and eating Oreo cookies and drinking Dr. Pepper’s,&uot; Green said.

&uot;I remember playing baseball to in T-ball and just doing everything together,&uot;&160;Mason said. &uot;We would go out on the lake and ride jets skis and go mud riding You couldn’t ask for a better person. He was honest and always truthful to you. He was a real good friend.&uot;

Mason played football and baseball with Smith.

&uot;Baseball won’t be the same without him,&uot; Mason said. &uot;It’s a tough time, but we’re all going to make it through it.&uot;

The song &uot;Angel&uot;&160;by Sarah McLaughlin was played during the ceremony.

After the ceremony, the juniors congregated at Mason’s house.

Green said approximately 100 of the 148 high school students at Huntington were out at least part of the day Monday.

&uot;We also offered counselors to anybody who needed it,&uot;Green said.

There will be no school today for the junior high and high school at Huntington. Classes will resume Wednesday.

Services for Smith are at 11 a.m. at the Sycamore Baptist Church in Ridgecrest, La.

Burial will be at the New Winnsboro Cemetary in Winnsboro, La.

According to a Louisiana State Police Troop E press release, Smith, 17, was driving his 1992 Pontiac southbound on Doty Road when he lost control of the vehicle and ran off the roadway in a curve.

Smith played football, basketball and baseball at Huntington.

&uot;To show how much Huntington meant to Eric, his parents requested he be buried in his basketball uniform,&uot; Green said.

Huntington junior Michael Foster requested to wear Eric’s No. 25 jersey during the district tournament next week at Trinity.

Trinity’s two games this week against WCCA and Central Private were cancelled.

Green said following the season, Smith’s jersey will be framed and put in the trophy room.