ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – The beautiful life and tragic death of 13-year-old Tristyn Bailey continue to have an impact on many people, especially in St. Johns County.
A Swiss Point Middle School student designed a special pair of cleats and came up with a sticker to honor Bailey. He wore the cleats, and he and his teammates added the stickers to their helmets Saturday during their jamboree game at The Bolles School.
“We decided to wrap the cleats in the Nike logo and have a wing on it for ‘Fly high Tristyn.’ And then we put her initials right here for Tristyn Bailey and then with the ribbons we decided to get stickers and put them on the helmets,” Aiden Smith said.
The Swiss Point Raiders football team was joined in its tribute Saturday by many in the stands, who also wore aqua -- Bailey’s favorite color.
Aiden Fucci, 14, is accused of murder in the death of Bailey, his schoolmate at Patriot Oaks Academy, a K-8 school. The tragedy has broken the hearts of many young and old.
Austin Smith and his son, Aiden Austin Smith, a sixth-grader at Swiss Point Middle School, did not know the Bailey family personally, but her story had an impact on their lives.
“These are young kids in middle school. This affected them significantly to have something so close to home in St. Johns County. We are only probably five miles from Durbin where she lived, and I think every player on the team was affected in some way shape or form,” Austin Smith said.
Aiden Austin Smith came up with the idea to honor Tristyn for the Saturday jamboree game with the special cleats and stickers.
“It’s all about my team spreading awareness for girls to tell people who they are going out with so they know who it is,” Aiden Smith said.
Cheerleaders from other schools wore aqua as well.
“I think just overall that this tragedy has really affected our community and to show support and stand by that family and everything that they’ve been going through,” said Madison Wofford, the Liberty Pines Academy junior cheer coach. “It’s just showing the community coming together to support that family.”
Not everyone wearing Bailey’s favorite color knew her or her family but felt it was important to show they care.