Grace Christian Academy responds to the death of graduate Will M

Grace Christian Academy responds to the death of graduate Will McKamey

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Flags are being flown at half-staff at Knoxville's Grace Christian Academy, the alma mater of Naval Academy freshman football player Will McKamey who died Tuesday after collapsing during football practice. Flags are being flown at half-staff at Knoxville's Grace Christian Academy, the alma mater of Naval Academy freshman football player Will McKamey who died Tuesday after collapsing during football practice.
Grace Headmaster Rob Hammond says his students and staff are pulling together, trying to absorb the death of one of their most beloved former students. Grace Headmaster Rob Hammond says his students and staff are pulling together, trying to absorb the death of one of their most beloved former students.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Flags are being flown at half-staff at Knoxville's Grace Christian Academy, the alma mater of Naval Academy freshman football player Will McKamey who died Tuesday after collapsing during football practice.

McKamey graduated from Grace just last year.

Grace Headmaster Rob Hammond says his students and staff are pulling together, trying to absorb the death of one of their most beloved former students.

"He was a leader. He was very charismatic. People were just drawn to him," said Hammond.

GCA began the school day Tuesday with an assembly to address Will's death to the entire student body.

Many of the students are taking Will's death extremely hard, speaking with the numerous grief counselors on hand throughout the day.

Hammond says Will was loved and respected during his time at Grace.

He says his talent and work ethic went far beyond the football field. He was an over-achiever in every aspect, from his schoolwork, to his faith, to the way he treated everyone at the school.

"He impacted everyone that he interacted with. He was years beyond his age in just his character and integrity. He was just an amazing young man," said Hammond.

Hammond says they are more thankful than ever that Will visited the school just a few weeks ago to read to his little sister's class.

He says Will's legacy will never go away.

"Will lived life to the full and because of that, what a great example for all of us to follow," said Hammond.

The Grace community is leaning on their faith to deal with the loss.

Grace has received numerous calls from schools all across East Tennessee, including several of the ones Will played against on the football field, to express their condolences over his death, offering to do anything they can to help comfort students.

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