SWEETWATER, Tenn. (WATE) – Sweetwater High School came together Monday night to pay tribute to one of their own taken too soon.
Incoming junior, Callie Jordan, died while on a summer mission trip to Mexico. A tree fell on the van she was in while her group stopped to get gas.
Several months now since the tragedy, Callie’s friends, classmates and basketball teammates are continuing to honor her life. The girls basketball team organized an event called “Callie’s Night” in conjunction with their first official game of the season.
The night shined a spotlight on the impact the late teen made on her small town.
“Her smile was infectious. If she was in a room, she was going to brighten your day,” girls basketball coach Heather Jarmillo said.
The night was full of tributes to Callie. Her basketball team saved a chair on the bench in her honor. They also warmed up in special T-shirts bearing her number and favorite Bible verse.
“I feel like the cross inside the basketball helps show how she showed Christ through sports and just her every day life,” teammate Mikalee Marti said.
In one of the most emotional moments of the night, Callie’s family and basketball staff took center court. Her best friend Reagan Moree presented Callie’s jersey to her parents. That was followed by 22 seconds of silence – a nod to her basketball number.
“She was such an impact on me, I just want to carry it on for her,” Moree said.
The team is remembering one of their own and carrying Callie’s memory close to their hearts.
“Callie’s overall spirit was just kind, joyful and you were attracted to her,” coach Jarmillo said.
“Someone like Callie, you could not forget, and you wouldn’t want anybody not to know her. And the people that didn’t know her, I feel bad for them,” Moree said.
Callie’s teammates say they will wear their warm-up shirts paying tribute to the teen all season as a way to show the community how much Callie meant to them.