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Fayetteville High School football coach remembers player killed in crash

Coach Morson tells WAAY 31 about the impact Tate had on his fellow teammates and the community.

Posted: Oct 7, 2019 10:52 PM
Updated: Oct 8, 2019 8:50 AM

On Monday, WAAY 31 spoke with the Fayetteville High School football coach after a player died Saturday in a freak accident.

Tate Tuten died when a bale of hay fell off a trailer on Shelbyville Highway, and hit him head-on.

Higgins Funeral Home is where the community will gather on Wednesday to remember Tate and to visit with his family.

From people we've spoken with, Tate was a kind, dedicated and outgoing person and always extended his hand to others.

We spoke with his football coach at Fayetteville High School who told us the team has rallied together and is supporting one another through this hard time.

He also told us about Tate's impact.

"Even though we had a short time with him as a staff since we took over in January...It's been short-lived, but he made a major impact on our lives...And made us better men," said Coach Kenny Morson.

Morson told WAAY 31 that this was Tate's first year playing on the varsity football team for the Fayetteville Tigers. He played in the spring season and joined the team in the fall.

Morson says he fit right in with the team and was always the student-athlete to socialize with all ages on the team. 

He explained that the entire community has been hit by this tragedy. 

“Our community is reeling from it and our administration and faculty and other students involved as well. He was a soccer player and had teammates there as well that are going through the tough time," he said.

Morson also remembers his last memory with Tate, which was when the two said goodbye after their game on Friday night, when they beat Cornersville 28-14. It was the team's 7th straight win, and it was a region championship game. 

"Teaching and coaching, you gain such a relationship with these young men. They're like your sons, and it's like losing a part of your own family, which it is our family. But, it's like losing your own son. It's devastating," said Morson.

Morson said Tate's sudden death has motivated the team, and they came up with a slogan, "State for Tate." Morson said this slogan is motivation for them wanting to win the state championship for Tate.

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