Washington

Loudon County high school stadium renamed for student who drowned

Washington

Fitz Thomas, a local high school student-athlete who drowned last summer, will have his memory honored by Loudon County for years to come. The school board announced that they have voted unanimously to rename Riverside High School's football stadium after Thomas' full name.

The stadium will now be known as Fitz Alexander Campbell Thomas Memorial Stadium, or FACT Field for short.

Thomas died at the age of 16 from a drowning accident, and his friends and family have spent the ensuing months fighting for safety reform to prevent his accident from repeating itself. His mother has been vocal about needed change to the local emergency response system.

“As a mother, I feel supported, I feel loved, I feel like the community is lifting me up,” Michelle Thomas said.

The petition to change the field's name was started by students and reached over 6,000 signatures online. 

"I remember him like it was yesterday, walking through the hallways with his game-day music playlist. He was hopping, skipping, and had his blue jersey on. Gameday he was always ready to go. He loved football," said Campbell's classmate Carleigh McCahren told WJLA 7. "Football was his life, it was his passion. Nobody deserves this more than him and his family."