Community remembers DAR senior Eli Spray

Northeast Alabama
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GRANT, Ala. - Hundreds came to Grant First Baptist Church on Monday with heavy hearts and left with tear-filled eyes to say goodbye to DAR High School Senior Eli Spray.

Spray, a senior football player was killed in a car accident Friday on his way to school.

"People are going to remember how kind he was to everybody, how he treated everybody the same no matter where you are from who you were, what you've done," said Ben Sutton.

Ben Sutton played football with Spray. He says Spray was looking forward to his college future and his athletic talents will be remembered.

"He had a few college offers, he was going to look at Birmingham Southern, and UNA and a couple other smaller schools around here. He would have ended up going somewhere," said Sutton.

Investigators say Spray crashed into the back of a wrecker on Simpson Point Road Friday morning.

Friday night would have been Spray's final football game of his senior year. The team considered not playing, but took the field to honor Spray, who they say was a team leader.

"There's no way he would ever want to cancel a game so we went and played and it didn't feel real," said Sutton.

Sutton says Grant is a close-knit community. Spray was known and loved by many.

"He was really close to everybody here, and you can tell by how many people are here today," said Sutton.

Sprays jersey number, 77, was retired at Friday's game.

"He will never be forgotten, he was special," said Sutton.

Funeral services for Eli Spray will be held Tuesday, November 5th at Grant First Baptist Church in Marshall County. The DAR senior football players will serve as pallbearers. A private burial will follow at Kirby Cemetery in Langston.

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