Fayetteville High School remembers Tate Tuten

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FAYETTEVILLE, Tenn. - Parents, teachers, and kids are remembering a teenager who was killed in a car crash this month.

The school was paying tribute to Tate Tuten on senior night.

The smiling seniors, arm in arm with mom and dad, march onto the football field. It's the last home game of the season for the Fayetteville Tigers.

"It's about Tate. I know he'd love to be here and have the attention of being here on senior night," Fayetteville High School senior Eli Dotson said.

One of those seniors is on the field in spirit. Tuten was killed in a car accident on October 5.

"Anybody who ever met Tate, whether you were six-years-old or 60. He never met a stranger," Dotson said. "He was always outgoing. Whether it was just his crazy personality, his loving heart or his insanely stupid ideas, if you ever met Tate, you couldn't forget Tate."

During the senior night presentation, Tate's framed jersey was given to Tuten's mom and dad along with footballs signed by the entire team.

"In a tragedy like this, it's hard for the people who knew Tate and his family. But seeing the community come together like this helps emotionally. They bring food, there's hundreds of people we can talk to, I got countless texts and I just think that's what makes our community special," Dotson said.

Every student in the bleachers is carrying a number 12, as is every Fayetteville Tiger, even the opposing Whitwell players.

"At a time like this, it's important to know you have people who love you and when we see our community and other communities coming together, helping us, it means a lot for me and my peers," Dotson said.

Before the Tigers take over on offense, every helmet is raised, one final moment for Tate is met with thunderous applause. Next Friday, Fayetteville travels to Sale Creek for their last game. The team says they're taking Tate's road jersey with them.

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