Red Dirt Diaries: Heartbreak And Healing In Lexington
LEXINGTON, Oklahoma - This is the third football season Lexington High School is honoring a fallen teammate. In 2015, freshman Nick Faught died of alcohol poisoning at a house party.
"We are in church and we got the call. It was very hard knowing your best friend passed away,” says senior lineman Caden Jones.
Players wear Faught’s No. 12 on their helmets and run out onto the field waving a flag with his name and number.
Captains then carry his jersey out to midfield for the coin toss.
“It teaches them what’s right and what’s wrong and even in the tough times, you can persevere,” says Lexington High School Head Coach Dale Berglan.
Berglan is in his first year as head coach and is carrying on the tradition to honor Faught. Even younger students who never knew Nick learn of his importance to the team.
“We tell them that this is our brother, he’s out family, he’s right here with us,” says Lexington Junior QB Toby Prevost.
Nick Faught was a popular kid and his death rocked the small town of Lexington. On game day, fans wear still wear t-shirts with No. 12 on them.
“Just seeing how much people care, care about our family, and care about Nick, it helps us just get through it. It’s like having a giant family here every time we come,” says Nick’s uncle Joe Faught.
On Senior night this season- Nick's flag will be given to his parents and retired forever. But the healing power of the pregame ritual won't soon be lost on the team or town.
“It’s gotten better over the years, but it still touches home,” says Jones.