Logan Tipton, the 6-year-old Versailles boy who was stabbed to death Monday while he slept, made it onto a football field one last time.
Hundreds from the community of about 9,000 sat in bleachers at Falling Springs Recreation Center on Friday morning to say goodbye to one of their own.
Woodford Youth Football League president Peter Barnhardt said coaches frequently ask players to give the game everything they’ve got. If players can’t walk off the field, the team will be there to help carry them off.
“Logan, you kept your end of the deal,” Barnhardt said. “You gave us everything you had, and now it’s our turn.”
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Logan’s coffin was brought to the center of the field while Sarah McLachlan’s song Angel played over the field’s speakers. The lyrics mixed with audible, involuntary reactions from the crowd at the sight of the ivory coffin, later adorned with Logan’s Yellowjackets number 63 jersey and helmet.
The boy played as an offensive lineman for the Yellowjackets in the 2015 season, his first in the league. He would have received a league award at a year-end banquet.
After leading the crowd in prayer, the Rev. Terry Jenkins instructed those assembled to picture the stadium lights and Woodford County players on the field, to imagine one last chance for Logan to score a touchdown, and to see him rush down the field in a game he loved for people who loved him.
“He’s at the 20, the 10, the 5; 63 could go all the way!” Jenkins said, to cheers, clapping and high-fives among the crowd.
Jenkins said he was proud of Versailles residents for coming together for the support of the Tipton family.
“God has already done something miraculous in this community,” Jenkins said.
A Gofundme page set up for the family has raised more than $50,000 since Monday morning. A memorial fund also has been set up at Kentucky Bank in Versailles.
Logan was killed early Monday. Police said Ronald Exantus of Indianapolis got into the unlocked house, walked around, grabbed a knife and went upstairs to the bedroom where the boy was sleeping. It has not been revealed why or how Exantus might have chosen that house.
The 32-year-old nurse has been charged with murder, and the prosecution plans to seek the death penalty. His attorney said she suspects that he is mentally ill.
Before the funeral, Barnhardt said many people had come together to give the “little man” the send-off he deserved.
“Rest easy, little man; you will never be forgotten,” he said.