COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Students and staff members at Jordan High School are struggling with the loss of one of their own – a coach, a teacher, a friend. One way Jimmy Napier and his family are being remembered is through a special decal designed for Jordan’s football team to wear to honor his legacy.
Napier passed away alongside his wife Ami and his 8-year-old son Hudson in a tragic car accident last Saturday, leaving behind his 4-year-old son Grayson.
Jordan’s head football coach, Kadale Jenkins, says the past couple of days have been overwhelming.
“This week at school’s been the toughest week we’ve had since I’ve been at this school,” said Coach Jenkins. “I thought going 0-10 last year was tough. This is way tougher. This does not compare.”
On Monday morning, Coach Jenkins was trying to find a way to honor the Napier’s and the first thing he thought of was getting helmet decals for the football team. In the midst of calling different companies who could make the decals, Ricky Rogers, a close friend of Coach Napier reached out to Jenkins, offering to make them himself.
“Fast forward to now, all of the kids have Napier Strong on the back of their helmets and we’ll be dedicated the 2023 season to Jimmy Napier and his family,” said Coach Jenkins.
The players are committed to wearing this badge of honor as a reminder of their new mission.
“I feel like it’s a great meaning behind our football season,” said Jordan quarterback, Davin James. “Being able to play for the Napier family is dedicating our season to more than just winning.”
Jordan full back, Cameron Howard, 17, says Napier was his favorite teacher. Howard is holding on to the fond memories he shared with Napier including the times when he would stop by Napier’s classroom for advice. Howard says he wishes he could thank Napier one last time.
“I would say thank you for everything that you’ve taught me and thank you for just being there when I needed you,” said Howard. “Thank you for opening my eyes to new things about life and just… I wish you didn’t go so soon, but I love you.”
Coach Jenkins says moving forward, there will always be a 12th Red Jacket represented in each game: Jimmy Napier from above.
The Red Jackets will hold a special presentation during pregame on Friday in honor of the Napier family. Coaching staff will be wearing Napier Strong T-shirts as a tribute to Jimmy’s legacy.