PEA RIDGE, Ark. (KFTA) — A community is in mourning after the sudden death of a high school student, Ayden Roy Cotton.
Football Head Coach Stephen Neal said Cotton was an incredibly powerful young man in his faith and character and calls his death a devastating loss to the Pea Ridge community.
Cotton was 15 years old and in his sophomore year. He died Thursday, January 9, after collapsing suddenly at his job.
Cotton played sports most of his life and was part of the varsity football team. Neal said he can’t remember seeing Cotton without a smile on his face and that he made his job as head coach fun.
“He will be remembered as a great student here at the school, he will be remembered as a great friend at the school. He will be remembered as the kid who impacted so many others here at the school at this town,” said Neal.
The Pea Ridge Blackhawk football community shared this message on Facebook :
“As always, our football family will continue to pray that healing and peace will come to the family, our school, and our community. Our program was very blessed to be impacted by our teammate’s laughter, his huge heart, and his love toward the Blackhawk football family. He will never be forgotten.”
We love you. RIP 24
A elebration of life is being planned to remember and honor Cotton’s life. A Memorial service is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15, in the Pea Ridge High School Gym. A funeral service is set for 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 16, in First Baptist Church in Pea Ridge. Burial will be in Buttram Chapel Cemetery.