Grief counselors will be available for returning students of Apalachee High School in Winder as they say good bye to a well-liked classmate and football player.
School starts August 6 in Barrow County, and this week Apalachee High students return to campus to pick up class schedules and continue activities like football practice. But the new school year begins without 17-year old Jordan Bracken- Howley.
Just weeks ago the vibrant young man celebrated receiving his SAT scores back in a Facebook post. In remembering the student it has been said, “He was a very bright light in the lives of all who knew him and he will be remembered for his kind heart, witty sense of humor and sly smile.”
Along with football, Bracken-Howley, an advance placement student, even held a part-time job at Stevie B’s Pizza. He was also a member of Boys Scout Pack 750, where he received the Arrow of Light recognition.
The popular football player’s sudden death last Monday has left both students and faculty stunned.
According to the Associated Press, the Gwinnett County Medical Examiner determined the cause of death of death as a brain tumor.
Bracken-Howley, was an upcoming senior at Apalachee High School and played both the positions of offensive and defensive lineman. On Monday, July 22 his father was unable to wake the teen up following complaints of a headache he had on Sunday.
Medical investigator Ted Bailey said the teen had a pituitary tumor at the base of his brain. The findings were consistent Bracken-Howley’s complaints of a headache and nausea. Bailey said the tumor had swelled and put too much pressure on his brain.
Bracken-Howley’s football coach, Shane Davis, told local media while the young man was not a starter for the football team; he was a hard worker and was a great example of a “student athlete”.
Davis said, “We can all learn so much from him because of his attitude and work ethic. He wanted to be a part of what we were doing, and he was a part of it.”
Bracken-Howley’s family received friends Saturday, July 27, prior to the memorial service held at Smith Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Community and Southern Bank for the Robert “Rian” Babiarz College Savings Fund.
For the Apalachee Wildcats football team, the “Chee”, this player’s death was a hard lost. But the team will take on this football season, playing to win with the heart and spirit of a young man who always demonstrated what it means to be a winner.
Family and friends will remember Jordan Bracken-Howley: March 9, 1996 – July 22, 2013.