Family, friends remember Natchitoches student at 'home going cer - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Family, friends remember Natchitoches student at 'home going ceremony'

Hundreds gathered Saturday for the funeral of Johnquaries Smith. Hundreds gathered Saturday for the funeral of Johnquaries Smith.
NATCHITOCHES, LA (KSLA) -

Hundreds of people gathered together Saturday morning to say a final goodbye to Johnquaries Smith.

He's the teenager who died after authorities said he was punched at school by a fellow student.

That emotional service got underway at 11 a.m. inside the Natchitoches Events Center in the 700 block of 2nd Street in the central part of the city.

It was an emotional service in what friends and relatives called a "home going ceremony" for 18-year-old Johnquarious Smith.

His love for football was no secret.

And in honor of his love for the game all of his teammates wore their jerseys.

Coach Brandon Helms said the team is taking it pretty hard.

"Finality hit today," he said. "There was some guys that didn't want to let loose. We had a team meeting this morning and I told them you need to let loose, and they did and we are all emotional. I was guarded until last night."

The coach offered reassurance in the family's time of need.

He let them know that while they lost their loved one, they've now gained 112 loved ones in the form of every single member of the football team.

Since that incident on campus, many people have raised safety concerns, reportedly plaguing Natchitoches Central High School and next week, school board members will do the same.

A meeting is scheduled for 6-7 p.m. Tuesday at the Natichtoches Parish School Board office on Royal Street.

Copyright 2014 KSLA. All rights reserved.

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