(405) 425-5070

Faulkner mourns death of two football players

Faulkner University is mourning the deaths of two of its student-athletes in a car accident early April 21.
Teirson Hollis, 20, and Ryne Wilhite, 19, both sophomores on the Eagles’ football team, died instantly when their car struck an 18-wheeler on Highway 82 in Chilton County, Ala.
Wilhite was driving when the crash happened at 5:10 a.m. just outside Maplesville. The two were returning to Montgomery after visiting a friend in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama State Troopers are investigating.
“I’ve never been through anything like this — it hurts so much,’’ Faulkner head coach Gregg Baker said. “T and Ryne were both great kids, two wonderful Christian young men. The only thing that is helping us right now is the fact that we all know exactly where they are, and that’s with our God in heaven.’’
Hollis and Wilhite were both offensive linemen for the NAIA-affiliated university, with Hollis having been with the program since its inaugural season in 2007. Wilhite had just transferred to Faulkner this semester and went through his first spring practice last month.  Hollis, a native of Douglasville, Ga., played high school football at Robert S. Alexander High School. A native of New Albany, Miss., Wilhite played for Northeast Mississippi Community College last season.
The Faulkner University Athletic Department created an online memorial for the two players. A black ribbon with the Eagles logo is shown with their player photos.
“Both of them were always smiling and joking around,” Baker added. “They may no longer with us here, but T and Ryne will always be a part of this program. Always.’’
Flags on the Faulkner campus were flying at half-staff by mid-day. The Faulkner football team was informed of the players’ deaths by Baker and his staff Tuesday morning. Simultaneously, Faulkner president Billy D. Hilyer informed the rest of the student body, faculty and administration. Grief counselors are available to everyone on campus.
“This is a very difficult day for our family,’’ said Hilyer, who also addressed the football team Tuesday. “My primary mission on this campus is to be there for our students and to help provide them what they need to earn a quality Christian education. In many ways, they are like my children. And this just breaks all of our hearts. The message that it should send to everyone is just how much we need God, who we know also lost a child. And it’s the blood of Jesus that we embrace today.’’
A memorial service was held on April 27.

  • Feedback
    I was late check such a sad news about our late brethren who happened to be in fatal accident. May their soul rest in perfect peace and my condolence to the bereaved family and the entire church congregation in the U.S.A
    Maxwell K.W.Agyarko
    Maxwell K.W. Agyarko
    Oforikrom Church of Christ
    Kumasi, Ashanti
    June, 16 2009

    O What a sad news to hear this, I and my congregation will keep thier families in Prayers and (II Samuel: 12: 16 � 25), Please meditate this passage and especially 23rd verse.
    We express deep condolences to their families
    Brethren & sisters this should encourage us to be more committed to doing Gods will so we all can join them in heaven.God bless
    from all of us.
    Jeevan Jessy
    [email protected]
    church of christ (India)
    April, 23 2009

    How sad. This has to be the nightmare every parent dreads. I have two children of my own attending Freed-Hardeman, I don’t know how I would handle getting such horrible news. I am keeping both families and Faulkner in my prayers, and I will ask my congregation to remember them also. May God bless all.
    April, 22 2009

    What a sad news.My sincere condolence to the bereaved family an the churches of christ in the states.I sometimes dont understand why God allows things like this to happen to his children.But as he said in all things we should give thanks.Brethren this should encourage us to be more committed to doing Gods will so we all can join them in heaven.God bless u.Afedi T.T.-Ghana West Africa
    April, 22 2009

Filed under: Staff Reports Top Stories

View Comments

Don’t miss out on more stories like this.

Subscribe today to receive more inspiring articles like this one delivered straight to your inbox twice a month.

Did you enjoy this article?

Your donation helps us not only keep our quality of journalism high, but helps us continue to reach more people in the Churches of Christ community.

Personal Info

Dedicate this Donation

In Honor/Memory of Details

Card Notification Details

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Billing Details

Donation Total: $3 One Time