Greenback High School retires jersey of former football player who died in January

Hundreds of friends, family and community members watched Friday night as Greenback coaching staff retired the jersey of former football player, Ryan Seymour.

Seymour, 17, died on January 21, 2011, four days after being in a car crash.  He was a senior at Greenback, and would have graduated in June, 2011.

Head Football Coach, Justin Ridge, gave Assistant Principal Laurie Guillamet Seymour's number 22 jersey in front of a packed house at the school's football field.  The jersey will hang in the school as a permanent memorial to Seymour.  Seymour's dad, Richard Seymour, said knowing no player will wear his son's number ever again helps with the pain he still feels.

"It's wonderful that they're retiring Ryan's jersey. I know he's up there in heaven right now dancing around. He worked hard for that. We all worked hard for it. I just can't say enough about the community and school. It's just wonderful being here," said Richard Seymour.

Seymour's younger brother, also named Richard, plays offense and defense on the team, and is a team captain.  Brother Richard Seymour helped the team beat Tellico Plains 48-14 Friday night.  The team is now undefeated so far this season.

Coach Ridge said Ryan Seymour is never far from the team's minds, and retiring the full-back's jersey was never a question.

"We try not to talk about it, but you know, I think they're really proud to have been part of his life and for what he stood for," said Coach Ridge.