As the news of Wilson’s passing spread on social media, students decided to wear camouflage in her honor at school Friday.
“I would say probably 80 or 85 percent of our students wore camouflage today,” Watertown principal Jeff Luttrell said. “That was something she wore, and it was their way of bonding together, grieving together.”
Luttrell said the loss of a student is the hardest thing a high school administrator could ever face.
“It is a tragedy when you lose a young person this age, with so much ahead of them,” Luttrell said. “She is going to be remembered here. She was what we want all students to be. She represented the school as a student officer in our agriculture program, she played on the softball team. She was a great kid.”
Luttrell said he reached out to Donna Wright, director of Wilson County schools, once he heard the news of Wilson’s passing. Wright arranged for counselors from other schools to be at Watertown High School on Friday to help with grieving students.
Heather Stanfill, head softball coach at Cumberland University and a hitting coach for Wilson, posted on Facebook about Wilson’s passing.
“I’ll never understand the loss of young life this side of heaven … a lot of people don’t understand the relationship of coach and player, but the tribe — my tribe, they get it,” she said. “I don’t take many new athletes, omst of my athletes I’ve worked with for years … they all become part of me. Their lives impact mine, their hearts open up to me while we get our sweat on. Their beautiful stories are told in our weekly one-hour sessions together … what a huge loss to our tribe, our Wilson County community, a family that lost their little girl.”
A GoFundMe page was set up to take donations from community members to go toward Wilson’s Family.
The page reads: “Katie Wilson was injured in an accident (Wednesday) and gained her angel wings (Thursday) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The family can use prayer and support in the days to come. Her mother, Dusty Huff, is a social worker who spends her days and uses her generous heart helping others; it is our turn to help her and the family. God bless them.”
That page may be found at gofundme.com/support-katie-wilson-and-dusty-huff.
Luttell said Watertown High School will likely do other things to honor Wilson’s memory.
“We do want to reach out to her family and do whatever we can,” he said. “She will always be a Purple Tiger.”