Coach Cory Johnson says the news of 16-year-old Jaheim Currie's passing was a major gut punch.
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Johnson, along with other Clinton City Schools faculty members, addressed the loss to students this week.
"We grieved at the high school together," Johnson said.
Currie was shot and killed on Feb. 14, when a fight inside a Dunn Cook Out spilled into the parking lot. Dunn Police say shots were fired and the young man was struck.
"We have to stop the gun violence. The gun violence is unreal. We've got to stop that," Johnson added.
The eleventh-grader joined Clinton High School during the Fall semester, according to school officials. In that short time of being a part of that close-knit community, Johnson says the young man shined.
"Heartbroken, it's tough": Jaheim Currie was killed in an overnight shooting at a Dunn Cook Out. Tonight at 11, some of his teammates - on the Clinton High School football team - speak to @ABC11_WTVD about what he meant to them. pic.twitter.com/hgfygLqkfX— Michael Lozano (@MLozanoABC11) February 16, 2020
"Very positive, always smiling. His parents did a good job raising him." Johnson adds that Currie played linebacker and defensive end, during the football season. "He was a good player, but it was more than that. Just the positivity that he brought to the team."
In honor of Currie, Johnson says the school and football team plans to make "4-U-2-STRONG" their core value going forward. They intend to sell t-shirts with that mantra, giving the money to the Currie family for funeral expenses.
"Some people don't have the opportunity to get up and be great, so while we have the opportunity, we're going to give 100% effort," Johnson added.
In addition, the football team will put the number "42" in their locker room and on their helmets this upcoming season.
For Johnson, it's been a very difficult week, but he says, "we've all been working forward".
Currie's funeral will be on Saturday afternoon in Erwin.