High School Football
3:06pm: Hotline with Dave Weekley

Midland Trail team travels with heavy hearts to Wheeling

HICO, W.Va. — Members of the Midland Trail High School football team take on Wheeling Central tonight in Wheeling. However, on the road trip Friday, they were without a beloved teammate after the death of Damon Mooney this week.

Damon Mooney

The 16-year old was killed in a car wreck on his way to school Tuesday. The tragedy was compounded by the fact Mooney’s mother is a member of the faculty at Midland Trail. Principal Richard Petitt said there’s no script for how you handle this kind of situation, so you do the best you can.

“We’re only going to be as good for kids as we are for each other. So I asked them to reach out to us if we had a teacher struggling and we’d try to swap people in and out and make the kids’ day as normal as possible, but we had to take care of each other first,” Petitt said.

He said the system worked and they were all able to lean on one another and deal with the grief.

“We’ve tried to wrap our arms around each other and bring each other through it while trying to do the same for the Mooney family,” he explained.

The decision to play the football game Friday night was a team decision. According to Petitt all sports activities were suspended on Tuesday, but leaders on the football team expressed a desire to play for their fallen brother. Damon’s parents addressed the team in a private event Thursday night and agreed playing was the best way to honor their son’s memory.

“They really wanted to play and felt like their brother would want them to play. That was also his parents’ desires as well. It was an emotional meeting and very touching,” said Petitt

Damon’s funeral is set for Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Lighthouse Worship Center near the intersection of U.S. Route 60 and U.S. Route 19 very close to the school. Damon’s teammates will be part of the service.

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