Holly Pond community celebrates lives of student athletes

Holly Pond junior Dayden Floyd (18) and sophomore Josh McGinnis (20) were memorialized on the mound at Holly Pond High School Monday after both were killed in a car accident Sunday night. (Nick Griffin/The Cullman Tribune)

HOLLY POND, Ala. – Family, friends, teammates, coaches, teachers and more gathered at the baseball field at Holly Pond High School Monday night to celebrate the lives of two student athletes taken far too soon. Dayden Floyd, 16, and Josh McGinnis, 17, were killed in a car crash Sunday night and a crowd of current and former students along with their families came together Monday evening to support one another.

Principal Steve Miller shared a few words with the crowd of supporters, recommending faith as a path to recovery after this tragedy.

“I think we’re all still in shock, I think we’re all still in a place where that didn’t happen. I don’t want to tell anyone that I remotely know how you feel because I can’t even imagine where you are but I do know I serve a God that knows exactly how you feel,” Miller said. “He cares about you and he loves you and has a great deal of respect for life and people and you can find hope in him when you can’t find it anywhere else.”

Miller then led the crowd in prayer before students began making their way out onto the field. After gathering at the mound and releasing balloons at sunset, the students shared another moment of prayer with one another.

Both young men played baseball at Holly Pond High School and McGinnis was on the Broncos football team as well. Floyd made several standout plays on the diamond at Holly Pond but his most impactful moment came before he ever reached high school. Dayden famously rescued a young child from Lake Guntersville on Mother’s Day in 2017 to earn a reputation as a citizen before he ever began earning one as a ballplayer.

A tragedy like this is never easy for a school or a community to go through and this time of social distancing can only make it more difficult. Monday night’s show of support was important for everyone to begin healing but it’s only the first step of recovery for a hurting Bronco community.

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