By Will Nations
There is one characteristic that sticks in the minds of the people in West Point and surrounding Oak Hill Academy. For the past few days, many remember Taylor Dragoo’s smile, which will forever carry his spirit.
Dragoo, 15, was involved in an ATV accident Friday in West Point. He died from injuries suffered in the crash Saturday at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. The news shocked many friends, teammates and coaches.
Dragoo, a rising sophomore, was a member of the OHA football and track teams, and harbored an enthusiasm for “Sportscenter.” Dragoo was an avid outdoorsman who loved to hunt, fish, kayak and ride ATVs.
OHA football and track coach Chris Craven said he knew Dragoo for eight years, since becoming his physical education teacher during elementary school. Craven shared his memories of his player Monday.
“He was a loving kid,” Craven said. “He had a big heart. He was a real good kid.”
Craven said Dragoo was mischievous, in a good way, during his formative years. Yet the mischievous child turned into a committed, hard-working young man on the football field.
“He was committed to the football team at a young age,” Craven said. “He made himself coachable. He was always trying his best, no matter the circumstances.”
Dragoo was a character that brought a love of life into OHA’s field house, according to Craven. Whether sharing laughs with teammates or talking with coaches, Craven said Dragoo would be missed by the team and coaching staff.
A.J. Iseley, an OHA senior football player, said he is deeply saddened by the loss of his teammate.
“We’re going to miss Taylor around the locker room and field,” Iseley said. “He always carried a big smile. We want him to fly high (in heaven).”
Brian Middleton, OHA varsity basketball coach, said he never saw Dragoo without his smile. Middleton taught Dragoo this past school year.
“I had him in class; he was that kid who was always so happy,” Middleton said. “Taylor was real easy to get along with and was always having a good time.”
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