By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The school colors of Tipton-Rosemark Academy might as well been purple and gold throughout the month of September.
The normal red, white and blue school colors took a backseat some days throughout the month to recognize Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and pay tribute to the late Lauren Moody.
The honoring of Moody kicked off in grand fashion the night of Sept. 8 when the Rebel Football team hosted Greenfield. Head Coach Colin Pinner helped to set up a Life Flight helicopter presentation of the game ball that night.
On hand were members of Lauren’s family. With a large gold ribbon trimmed in purple painted on the field, the Rebels dominated 37-0.
“This night is special,” Pinner said. “It’s all for Lauren and her classmates. Look at them, they love her and it shows.”
Pinner noted the TRA senior class gathering around the ribbon to take a picture in memory of Lauren.
The daughter of Joey and Dana, sister of JT and Matt Moody passed away Dec. 30, 2015 from cancer during her sophomore year. Leaving this earth after just 15 years, Lauren’s family and friends were left behind to grieve.
Lauren was a member of the Munford Church of Christ and played varsity volleyball and basketball at TRA.
Basketball is the family sport with her older brothers JT and Matt holding the top 2 spots on the all-time scoring list at TRA.
But the sport Lauren was beginning to make her name was volleyball. She shared the court with peers Sydney Pilkington, Haley Ramsey and Kallie Alexander.
Now seniors, the trio along with Head Coach Wendy Porter led the way of the Lady Rebel Volleyball program honoring Lauren with a series of Gold Out games.
The first Gold Out was held Sept. 11 against Ripley with TRA winning in a sweep.
“Lauren was our teammate in volleyball and basketball since we were little,” Ramsey said. “She was a great athlete. She played with us for a long time. We really miss her being by our side. We’re playing the season for here.”
Pilkington said each game in the gold jerseys had special meaning.
“It definitely means a lot,” Pilkington said. “It reminds us what we’re playing for and why we’re playing so hard. We want to represent her well. She’s all of our friend and we love her so much. We want to do well for her.”
Alexander’s journey at TRA mirrors the one Lauren would have taken as well. Kallie is the youngest of three with two older brothers who shined in Rebel athletes. The Alexander brothers Cale and Connor sport of choice was baseball with both reaching the collegiate level.
“Lauren was as hard worker at sports,” Kallie recalled. “She was just a fun and spunky personality on and off the court. She was a great friend and just fun to be around.
“I think she would definitely be working to get her name up there with her brother,” she added. “She would have been working as hard as they did to leave her legacy.”
Ramsey said Lauren’s legacy will live on now and forever at TRA.
“We’ve definitely tried to make sure her memory lives on,” she said. “We all miss her so much. We’re trying to incorporate her in everything. She should have been her with us.”
Pilkington said whether gold and purple or the traditional school colors, Lauren’s spirit is with the Class of 2018.
“She’s still one of us,” she concluded. “We’ll have her name announced on Senior Night and at graduation to show she is still with us. We all miss her so much. We want her honored.”