Vernon community mourns loss of Trey Pike

Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 7:40 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Trey Pike’s sudden death is taking a toll on the Vernon community.

He was not only Vernon High School’s athletic director, but also the head football coach.

“All of us need support,” said Washington County School District Superintendent Joseph Taylor. “All of us need each other, and so when you’re dealing with other people, and you realize they’re hurting too, that gives you some strength in that.”

An off-duty Panama City fireboat discovered a boat early Sunday morning with the engine still running.

The person on-board was later identified as Pike.

Officials confirmed the boat hit a tower abutment in North Bay, near Bailey Bridge.

The community is still reeling from the news, especially those he coached.

“It’s going to be extremely difficult for his team this year,” Taylor said. “The previous coach, Coach Tranquille, went over to Liberty County. So it’s going to be a hard adjustment for them of losing two head coaches in such a short period of time.”

Tranquille said Pike had a heart of gold.

“I mean, he’s 6′5, 300 pounds,” Tranquille said. “He said, ‘Have you ever seen a 6′5 300-pound baby? That’s what I am right now.’

There are resources available for those who need it, though.

“The school district, we have resources such as mental health counseling,” Taylor said. “We have all of that, and we wanted to make sure everyone who was involved was aware of that.”

The football team is also coming together to remember Pike in a special way.

Vernon High School and Middle School, along with the recreational league, will all be participating in a group football team practice on Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Vernon High School Football Field to honor Coach Pike. It’s something Pike had planned before his passing.

You can contact the Washington County Schools’ District Office directly at 850-638-6222 if you need counseling.

Chad Weeks is the interim athletic director and head football coach at Vernon High School.

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