Candlelight vigil held Monday night for SFA students killed in crash

SFA students, staff and community members gathered tonight at Homer Bryce Stadium to honor and remember two of their students with a candlelight vigil.
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 10:30 PM CST
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Stephen F. Austin State University students, staff and community members gathered Monday night at Homer Bryce Stadium to honor and remember two of their students with a candlelight vigil.

Hundreds of people gathered on the turf to honor the lives of Micah McAfoose and Graylan Spring. Coaches, friends and loved ones spoke about the students and their impact on the teams they played on and the campus of SFA.

Athletic Director Ryan Ivey said both of the young men were great kids.

“They are fun-loving individuals; they were full of life, full of zeal. They had a lot of personality. They just had gotten to SFA, both of them, here in their first year and were getting their feet on the ground and learning what college is about,” Ivey said.

Josh Thompson, who is a member of SFA’s football team, said that Spring was like a little brother to him.

“Graylan was probably one of the most energetic and loving guys I ever met, honestly,” Thomas said.

He said he met McAfoose through Spring. “So, wherever Graylan was at, I saw Micah.”

Many people spoke at the vigil including the head football coach, head baseball coach, friends and the families. McAfoose’s mother shared stories and thanked everyone who came out to the vigil.

She said, “You always knew he was coming. He made sure he knew everybody in the room. That was just Micah’s personality. He loved Jesus fiercely, and he loved everybody fiercely.”

Candles were lit and music was played to honor the two students. Ivey said everyone at SFA is one big family.

“We have issues, and we have problems, and we have challenges like everyone else, but when there is a tragic situation, we see the goodness in people, and I think we have seen the goodness in people really within the last 72 hours,” Ivey said.

Thomas encouraged everyone to cherish what you have.

“If this isn’t the biggest example of it. It can be gone in an instant. Live everyday like it will be your last because you never know when it will be,” Thomas said.

After the vigil, the top of the Steen towers were lit up with a purple light honoring McAfoose and Spring.


+ Police report: SFA students’ vehicle hit 18-wheeler crossing U.S. 59

+ Second SFA student involved in crash has died

+ SFA says 1 student critically injured, 1 killed in wreck north of Corrigan