SPRING HILL, Kansas - Friday evening’s vigil is the first public memorial planned for 17 year old Nathan Stiles.
The senior from Spring Hill High School died after collapsing at a football game Thursday night. He was pronounced dead at 4 a.m. Friday morning.
The news of Stile’s death spread quickly through the town of 5,000 people.
Former classmate Jamie Wells explains, “Word gets around in a small town especially when its somebody you went to school with and you’re friends with.”
Wells says she grew up with Stiles. She says she watched him become a football star, scholar and this year’s Homecoming King. However, she says it’s the precious memories and priceless moments she’ll remember most, “My neighbor used to be best friends with him so he was always over. Yea, he was my first kiss.”
Her friend, Montana Yohi, says Stiles was an all around good guy, “We went to school with Nathan, he was a really good guy. I don’t have anything bad to say about him at all. He was friends with everybody.”
Another former classmate, Jessica Deeter, says she is still in disbelief, “We hadn’t had a high school death in a long time so having him so close in age is very shocking.”
Spring Hill High School students will be offered grief counseling indefinitely. Many of Stile’s classmates couldn’t even face the walls of school Friday.
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A long-range plan for the state's highways suggests that Kansas Highway 10 between Lawrence and Johnson County become a partial toll road.