(WBIR) Will McKamey's parents said they're amazed by the community and Naval Academy's support after their son died from a brain injury exactly a week ago.
The 19-year-old passed away last Tuesday after collapsing during spring football practice for the Naval Academy.
The Navy's assistant football coach and athletic department liaison Drexel King posted a statement from McKamey's parents on a website honoring their son. McKamey's parents said even though Monday's funeral marked the most difficult day in their lives, they're deeply touched by the outpouring of love and support from the community and the military.
"Love from family and friends has overflowed into our home, love from an incredible military academy has shook us to our core and lifted our spirits beyond belief," said McKamey's parents in a statement Monday night. "Love from our wonderful school and church body has literally carried us through this past week, but it's the love and peace from Our Heavenly Father that truly brings us to our knees in total awe."
People celebrated McKamey's life Monday during a funeral service at Grace Baptist Church. The Naval Academy's superintendent, commandant, athletic director, football coaching staff, and two buses of midshipmen from the football team and Will's company traveled to Knoxville for the funeral, according to Drexel King.
"We know your prayers are upholding us! We appreciate all of you, near and far, who came and celebrated the life of our son today (Monday)," said McKamey's parents in a statement.
Instead of flowers, Will's family has asked people to donate to the Live Like Will Foundation, which will support people with cerebral palsy. Those interested can send checks to Grace Baptist Church, 7171 Oak Ridge Hwy. Knoxville, TN 37931. Please write "Live Like Will" on the memo line.
(WBIR) Friends and family celebrated the life of Grace Christian Academy graduate Will McKamey Monday afternoon.
The 19-year-old passed away Tuesday from a brain injury after collapsing during spring practice for the Naval Academy.
People paid respects to his family from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Grace Baptist Church; the funeral service followed at 1 p.m. The burial was private.
The Naval Academy's superintendent, commandant, athletic director, football coaching staff, and two buses of midshipmen from the football team and his company attended Monday's funeral, according to Assistant Football Coach and Athletic Department Liaison Drexel King. A memorial service will also be held at the school's chapel Friday at noon.
In honor of McKamey, the Navy football team will use the slogan "I WILL" for the upcoming season.
Instead of flowers, his family has asked people to donate to the new Live Like Will Foundation, which will support people with cerebral palsy. Those interested can send checks to Grace Baptist Church, 7171 Oak Ridge Hwy. Knoxville, TN 37931. Please write "Live Like Will" on the memo line.
In a statement, the McKameys said they "are overcome with the way everyone has rallied behind the #LIVELIKEWILL movement. Will was able to change the spirit of a community, a school, and several teams, without saying a word. His life was an inspiration to so many and we are thankful for the 19 years we had with him."
Last week, #LiveLikeWill was trending on Twitter as his family, friends, and even strangers paid tribute to the teen.
McKamey was a freshman cadet at the Naval Academy. His father coached him football during his time at Grace Christian Academy.