ADAIRSVILLE, Ga. - It was a moving tribute for an Adairsville High School student whose love for life was tragically cut short.
Larry Gardner, 17, was walking to school earlier this month when he was hit by a car and killed. Family and friends remember Larry as a passionate and caring young man, who lived life to the fullest.
At Friday night’s football game and the high school's senior night, students and faculty honored Larry.
When the Adairsville Tigers took the field for the first home game since student Larry Gardner's unexpected death, the percussionist who was referred to as the "heart and soul" of the band, was on many people's minds, especially his parents and seven siblings.
“It's extremely emotional for not only me, but my family and slot of the Adairsville Community and these seniors who will be the graduating class of 2018. It is exciting a little bit,” said Larry Gardner, the victim's father.
The teen never met a stranger and was known for his signature bear hugs. His father gave out plenty Friday night.
“Larry's going to be that guy that welcomes you with open arms and give you his signature,” said his father. “People are missing left and right. It's just not the same.”
The Marching Tiger Band paid tribute to Larry by presenting his parents with his senior sash and flowers all in memory of the scholar and gentleman gone too soon.
Dustin Wallace had been friends with Larry since third grade and considered him a brother.
“He lived an amazing life. You can ask anyone in this school and they will tell you he lived for Jesus,” said Dustin Wallace, fellow band member.
Adairsville rival on the gridiron this week even paid tribute. The Breman marching band created a banner that read: "We march for Larry!"