FLEMING COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — The huddle was Buddy Morgan's favorite part of being on a team.
It was where he felt connected to his baseball and football teammates, and supported by his coaches, said Steven Morgan, Buddy's dad.
"That's what he's about," he said. "Togetherness."
On Friday, the 18-year-old Fleming County High School senior died from the injuries he sustained in a car accident in mid-May. At a vigil for him on the high school's football field Friday evening, Steven asked the crowd to huddle up. It's what Buddy would have wanted, he said.
"Buddy loved everybody," he said. "Unconditionally. For no reason except for you were his friend or you were you."
The family is leaning into their faith and each other.
"Our family is very strong, very close and bottom line, love each other," said Stephanie Morgan, Buddy's mom. "Through the hard times, through the easy times, through the happy times, through the incredibly sad times. We've got to just love each other."
And they're thankful for the community support.
"I haven't responded to a lot of texts, a lot of phone calls and stuff like that," Steven said, "But I read them. I hear the messages. I listen to the voice messages and it's been overwhelming."
On the same field where family and friends hugged and cried together Friday, a graduation ceremony will be held for Fleming County High School students on Saturday.
Buddy was supposed to walk across that stage. Instead, his parents will accept his diploma.
"There's a few more steps to finish that journey and we're gonna finish it," Steven said.
And they hope others will learn from the unconditional love Buddy showed.
"Thank you for loving my boy," Steven said.
"Now pay it forward. Go love somebody else," Stephanie said.