By Collin Brooks
The footprint of Kaylee Rabun has engulfed the entire area, but there will be a visual reminder of the former Daniel Boone junior as the school installed a portrait of Rabun that will hang in the cafeteria, overseeing her now-senior classmates as they walk across the hallways one last time.
Rabun lost her life on September 10, during an auto accident on I-81. It was Rabun’s 16th birthday.
Daniel Boone Principal Tim Campbell said that Rabun’s photograph will hang in the cafeteria until graduation day, where it will be placed in her seat during the ceremony, before being presented to her parents on that day.
A group of friends and volleyball players took time to recall their friend during a small ceremony on Wednesday, May 24.
Smiles surrounded the table when the word friend was mentioned in reference to Rabun; it was easy to see that if she was the best at anything, it was that.
“She always had a smile on her face, we’d alway joke around with her and she would joke around with us,” Daniel Boone senior Sara Beth said. “We would pick on her and she would pick right back. That was just her, that’s how she was.
“It’s just hard,” Beth continued before her voice was drowned with emotion.
The girls fought through even stronger emotions just days after Rabun’s accident. The Lady Blazers welcomed and defeated Dobyns-Bennett that night, playing the first three points without a player down in memory of Rabun.
“That’s a feeling that is just indescribable, it just is,” Beth said. “I mean, we played with five players, but at the end of the day, we all knew she was still there playing with us. She was still holding our hand.”
Daniel Boone Coach Chelsea Spivey said that game was the biggest game that she’d ever been a part of.
“That is the biggest game of my entire life,” Spivey said. “And as a coach, it is indescribable how to explain how much support we had throughout the community.
She vividly recalled the fans rushing the floor after the contest and chanting “three” for Rabun’s number.
“It just makes my blood rush now thinking about how much support we had from our community, our school,” Spivey said. “There have been people that have never been to a volleyball game, but came out there to support us.
“I mean Kaylee had a big impact.”
Spivey said that the outpouring of support from local teams, coaches, parents and communities was unbelievable and that she dearly appreciated the support from everyone.
“We just want to say thank you,” Spivey made sure to mention. “There were so many people there for us. I hope that we can show other teams that your team is your family. Even when times are tough, you have to come closer.”
That is exactly what the Lady Blazers were able to do, because they started playing for more than just wins and losses, according to senior Mackenzie Carrier.
“We started playing for a whole new reason, we started playing for her. We started playing for our coach and we started playing for each other,” Carrier said. “Because that was the way we overcame everything, we just played it on the court.”
Memories of that game brought some visible chill bumps to the ladies arms, just like the memories they have of spending time with Rabun.
“It’s a memory that I will cherish forever, just like memories with her I will cherish forever,” Beth said. “I sit here and I try to relive that feeling, but…it’s just a feeling that you won’t ever beable to relive.”
She said it also taught them a lesson that they couldn’t learn in their normal lives.
“Don’t take life for granted and don’t take people for granted,” Beth said, through emotion. “Because at the end of the day you can be mad at somebody all you want, but you never know when it is their last day.”