Community mourns death of Holmes County athlete

A Holmes County community is mourning after a local teen died unexpectedly.
A Holmes County community is mourning after a local teen died unexpectedly.(WJHG)
Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 3:06 PM CDT
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BONIFAY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Holmes County community is mourning the loss of a beloved athlete and honor student. High school senior Tyler Erickson passed away suddenly Monday night while out practicing for an upcoming golf tournament.

NewsChannel 7 spoke with Tyler’s dad, Clint Erickson, who said while his son’s life was short, he was a blessing to many.

“My child had been a blessing to my wife, and my two daughters. One older daughter and one younger daughter. We will cherish him forever. It was God’s will. We believe it was God’s will for this to happen. It was an unexplainable accident, and it’s just hard. It’s hard and it’s difficult to move on but we’ve got to move on. But just as a family, we feel blessed that we’ve been able to have him,” Erickson said.

Tyler passed away just two days before his 18th birthday. While he was young, he definitely left his mark. He was a shining light gone too soon.

“He was somebody that always cared about you and would go out of his day to ask you how yours was and try to make it any type of like if you’re having a bad day, he could make it better,” classmate Delaney Donaldson said.

Students and faculty at Holmes County High School are remembering the Tyler’s life, as a star student and Beta Club State President.

“He’s one of those students that just comes around every now and then. And I really enjoyed working with him and he will be greatly missed.” teacher and Beta Club sponsor Rachel Belser said.

He shined outside the classroom too, on stage and on the golf course.

“Actually what he was doing when the tragedy struck was going out to work on his golf game and that’s the type of guy he was,” Jeff Lee, Holmes County High School Athletic Director, said.

Tyler was practicing for an upcoming tournament Monday when he passed away for unknown reasons.

“I just hate this so for him and his family but I hate it more for the world. I mean he was a wonderful person and I just, this is horrible,” Laurence Pender, Principal of Holmes County High School, said.

Donaldson remembers feeling like the world stopped when she heard he was gone.

“She got a text and we just sat there and hugged,” Donaldson said.

While it’s okay to be upset and mourn, Donaldson said it’s not what he would have wanted.

“Today my mom was like Delaney are you going to go to school? And I was like I’m going to, I mean I’m going to try,” Donaldson said. “And I was like I feel like I should because I know he wouldn’t be like wanting you to sit around the house just cry about it all day.”

The school is holding a bubble release Wednesday in honor of Tyler’s 18th birthday.

His viewing and funeral will be held Saturday morning at the high school.

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