Centennial Community Mourns Loss of Senior Football Player

The Centennial High School community is reeling after the loss of Jim Cheek, a senior wide receiver on the football team.

Complete details of his passing aren’t known, but sources have said he died in an all-terrain-vehicle accident on Monday afternoon. Public information officials with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Department verified that the accident didn’t happen here.

CHS football coach Matt Kriesky met with the football team at noon to address the loss of No. 18.

“Jim was an outstanding young man,” Kriesky said. “This was his first year coming out for football. We enjoyed every minute he was involved. He did everything we asked him to do. This is a tough time for everyone here at Centennial. We ask that everyone pray for the Cheeks and everyone out in the community.”

Cheek’s long-yard reception helped lead Cougars to tie the game against Brentwood High School during the semifinal championship Friday night. He caught two passes for 46 yards in that game.

Principal Leigh Webb said that the Cheek family was deeply intertwined in the community, and that he would be missed.

“Jim was a lover of life and brought so much joy to everyone who knew him,” Webb said. “He played baseball most of his life and has played with/against so many students across Williamson County. He was a member of the Centennial High baseball team. And this year, his senior year, went out for the football team. There you could see his love of sports and competition continue to grow. His coaches were sharing this morning that he had a smile on his face every day at practice and worked hard to get on the field to win for his school and teammates. Jim’s entire family is active in our school family.  His mom Lea is a long-time parent volunteer and spent all of the past weekend helping us lead the Centennial Holiday Show. Jim’s sister is a student at Mississippi State and is a former CHS Cheerleader.”

This is the third student to pass away from Centennial High School in the past 11 months. Last Christmas Eve, the Cougars dealt with the loss of Anisah Bourriague, 16, and Nickell Whitson, 17, after an accident on Carters Creek Pike in Maury County. Whitson also played for the CHS football team.

“The Centennial school community is a family like no other,” Webb said. “Students, parents, teachers and coaches all share in a close relationship here and our grief is heavy. However, the strength of this community will see us through. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the Cheek family.”

Kriesky said the community will have a vigil for the Cheek family, with date and time yet to be announced.

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Emily West covers Franklin, education, and high school football for the Franklin Home Page. Contact her at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter via @emwest22.