Boonville students participate in ‘honor walk’ for late classmate

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Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 8:21 PM CDT
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WARRICK CO., Ind. (WFIE) - Gage McCoy had just finished up his freshman year at Boonville, and was starting summer football workouts, ready to take on a Sophomore season.

His head football coach, Darin Ward, says the loss of McCoy is weighing heavy not only on him, but with all of the students.

As tough as it is, he knows this tragedy will bring their close-knit community, even closer.

“The biggest thing is he will not be forgotten. I think there’s a little bit of him that’s going to move forward in all of us, all of us that ever had the opportunity to be friends with him, be around him, teach him, coach him, or anything like that,” says Ward.

Officials with the DNR say that McCoy was riding his bicycle on a fire tower lane in Lincoln State Park on Saturday, June 4.

He lost control of the bike, and suffered a head injury.

Officials say that responders to the accident carried him on a backboard to a side-by-side, where he was then driven to an ambulance.

The ambulance took him to Heritage Hills, and he was life-flighted to St. Vincent from there.

McCoy died on Monday, June 6.

[Previous Story: Boonville student dies after bike crash]

Students took an “honor walk” through the school and around the football field, where they finished on the field near midfield at a lone bench showcasing McCoy’s cleats, jersey and helmet.

McCoy was also a wrestler at Boonville, and his head coach, Dusty Marchand says he was one of the hardest-working guys in the room.

A sentiment reflected by the amount of teammates and classmates who spent hours in the ICU after McCoy’s accident.

“There were wrestlers and football players down at the hospital in the ICU waiting room. When this happened Saturday, there were several down there until 3:30 in the morning,” says Marchand

Both Marchand and Ward say that McCoy had a huge personality, and his smile and attitude were contagious everywhere he went.

“Everyday in wrestling, he would come in, and they have to check in with us and we mark them off. He’d be like, “hey coach, how you doing, you doing okay today, you ready to get after it?” says Marchand, “I want 20 of these kids.”

Marchand says this is the first time he’s had to bury a student-athlete, but Ward says although McCoy is gone, the impact he made in 15 short years isn’t going anywhere.

“Like I said, he’s not going to be forgotten,” says Ward, “his legacy will move forward for many, many years to come.”

Marchand says that McCoy’s wrestling headgear and shoes will be carried with them to every single meet this year, and he says nobody will be taking McCoy’s locker for as long as he’s the head coach.

“We’re putting a gold lock on it,” says Marchand.

Ward and Marchand say there will be memorials constructed for both the wrestling room and the football field in McCoy’s memory.

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