CHHS family mourns loss of former students
Published 10:57 pm Tuesday, July 24, 2012
By Robbyn Brooks and Wes Johnson
Tragedy touched Charles Henderson High School twice this week as two former football players died.
“For the students, anytime they lose one of their classmates it’s difficult,” said CHHS Principal Dr. Boyd English. “If they are hurting, we are hurting.”
Early Saturday morning, 2011 CHHS graduate Jacobi Jones, 19, was stabbed to death at a club in Troy. Shortly before 5 p.m. Monday, Noah Allison, 17, was killed in a two-vehicle crash on Highway 29, just outside of Pike County.
CHHS Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Mike Dean spoke with football players at the campus Tuesday morning, shortly before canceling practice.
“It was surreal,” English said. “It was a somber atmosphere. You could tell the kids were hurting.”
After graduation, Jones was involved in making music, but in school, he was known as an “entertainer.”
“He was a good kid,” said Troy Elementary School Physical Education Teacher Jennifer Sikes. “He was a cut-up. He could make you laugh.”
Jones was voted “Class Clown” his senior year of high school.
“He was a talented young man, with his music,” said Atreca Thomas in the CHHS office.
Allison, a center for the Trojans, left CHHS toward the end of the school year to follow former head coach Hugh Fountain who had left for Escambia Academy.
“He was such a respectable child,” English said. “He had manners. Just a wonderful, kind young man.”
And his teammates felt the same way.
“He pushed us to do our best,” said upcoming senior William Edwards, an offensive lineman for the football team. “He was a hard worker. He liked to have fun, too. But it was business first.”
Fountain held Allison in high regard.
“Noah was way beyond football,” Fountain said. “He was a great person and a great guy.”
Fountain left Charles Henderson in January when he accepted the head coaching position at Escambia Academy in Brewton. When Fountain left, Allison followed.
“I had the privilege of coaching him at Charles Henderson and was honored that he wanted to come to Escambia to play football,” Fountain said. “He was very intelligent. He was focused on his future and what he wanted to do with himself.”
Allison’s coach also said he was a role model for other players and students.
“What I admire the most about Noah is that he was a tremendous leader,” said Fountain. “He had a great way of pushing the rest of the kids. He was the same every day. He was the same in Troy as he was when he came to Escambia Academy.”
Former teammate Joe Bradley echoed Fountain saying that Allison’s even-keeled personality was his strength.
“Some people might act differently around certain people, Noah was acted the same no matter who he was around,” Bradley said. “He was never the type to put someone down, just an all-around good guy.”
Charles Henderson’s football team has dealt with its share of heartbreak over the past year. In June 2011, lineman Ronnell Moore was killed in an auto accident just before the start of his senior year. Later that season, long-time defensive coordinator Tyrone Black passed away due to a heart attack.
“Car accidents happen everywhere,” Fountain said. “I have a teenager and worry about it all the time. All you can do is hope everyone does their part in being careful on the road.”