Following the loss of former Bexley student Jeremiah Clinton in a shooting, students and staff at the high school have taken time to reflect on his impact on people in the Bexley community.
Junior Noah Lyons described his bond with Clinton as very close. Living near Clinton, Lyons said that their 20 minute walk home from wrestling practice would often turn into an hour or so of talking.
“That would be our time where we would just basically vent to each other, whatever was bothering us… Certain stuff you just don’t tell anybody,” Lyons said. “[We would have] these complex type conversations that would last a long time.”
Another friend of Clinton, junior Porter Neff, said that the two actually didn’t like each other much at first but were brought together during their freshman year football season.
“We both kind of pushed each other, we both played the same position and always tried to one-up each other on the field, and it just kind of showed the mutual respect for each other,” Neff said.
As an athlete, Lyons said Clinton was positive and energetic.
Wrestling coach Chris Bragg also emphasized this and said that Clinton was a good role model to the younger players because of his hard work.
“You can actually push your body a lot further than what you think you can, and so you know when he figured that out, his work ethic became pretty darn good,” Bragg said.
Along with his positivity, Neff said Clinton was motivated and determined on both the wrestling mat and the football field.
“He’d ask us to hit him before he went out because it would get him more angry against the opponent… He’d just go out there and absolutely pummel kids,” Neff said.
English teacher Michelle Rogers said she had Clinton as a student during his freshman year and characterized him as a good listener who enjoyed participating.
“He loved class discussion,” Rogers said. “He enjoyed getting into debates and sharing ideas.”
As well as being a hard-working student, Rogers said Clinton was good with kids. She said when her students were paired up with kindergarten and fifth grade classes from Cassinghman for the Global Read Aloud, an energetic student who had a hard time sitting still was in need of a partner, and Clinton volunteered to work with him and some other students.
“They were all mesmerized with him,” she said.
Rogers added that both the teachers from the kindergarten class and fifth grade class reached out to compliment Clinton’s abilities when working with kids.
Neff also saw Clinton as a caring individual and said that he was kind-hearted and very passionate about the things he loved.
Lyons voiced a similar opinion and said that he feels that Clinton should be remembered for the multifaceted person he was.
“I feel like you should remember a person for everything they’ve done, not for one part or one piece of their life because that’s not the whole person, that’s just a part of that person,” Lyons said. “If you remember somebody you remember them for who they are, everything they did, everything they said, everything they stood for.”
Bragg described the circumstances of Clinton’s death as an example of a bad thing happening to a good person and said that it will be hard for many to deal with.
“He was young, but because he was so mature at a young age you could kind of see the leadership coming out of him,” Bragg said. “I wish I’d gotten to see more of that.”