Friends remember Centennial athlete killed in accident - WSMV News 4

Friends remember Centennial athlete killed in accident

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Jim Cheek (Photo submitted) Jim Cheek (Photo submitted)

It's not easy saying goodbye to a young life that was just beginning. Friends and family of 18-year-old James Cheek are having to do just that.

"He was a really loyal friend. He was always there for his closest friends," said Cheek's best friend, Kyle Brennan. "I'm trying my hardest to stay strong," he added.

Jim was a senior at Centennial High School, where he played baseball and basketball. This year, he joined the football team and did well.

"We loved sports and we loved competing. That just describes our relationship - competitors," Brennan said.

Brennan said his friend loved to dance and had a great positive spirit. It's that spirit that is making it harder to say goodbye.

Monday night, Kyle says Jim had gone to a friend's farm in Charlotte to hang out. Around 10:45 p.m., Dickson County Sheriff's deputies responded to Maple Valley Road. They found a Toyota 4Runner in a field with headlights still on. Jim was dead, outside the car. There were four others in the car during the crash, including a juvenile driver.

Police have not yet released a cause.

Brennan said while this week has been tough, he knows his friend would want others to smile.

"He would want us to remember how much fun he always had, how he enjoyed life to the fullest," Brennan said. "I believe he is in a better place and I believe he is looking down on us and looking after us."

Friends started The James Cheek Memorial Fund on GoFundMe to send money, condolences and support to the family.

There will be a vigil at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Performing Arts Building at Centennial High School.

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