BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Losing a family member is truly unimaginable, whether that family member is through blood or a brotherhood.
“I was really close with Aiden, he was more than a friend to me. He was more like a brother. He was a true family member,” former teammate Zac Weaver said.
On Monday, April 12, 2021, Aiden Shehan tragically lost his life in a car accident. The 19-year-old was a recent graduate at Woodrow Wilson High School. When Woodrow Wilson Head Football Coach Street Sarrett got the news, he was devastated.
“Whenever you get a phone call in the middle of the night from your former players, it is usually never a good sign,” Sarrett said. “I got a call from about five or six guys, his brother… It just numbs you.”
Aiden played a big role on the Beckley Football team, even though he was not a fan of the early mornings. Former teammate Avante Burnett said it took a few people to get him up.
“These 5 a.m. practices, he hated them,” Burnett said. “I’d be staying over at their house so I could get a ride to practice. Coach Sarrett would come and wake him up extra early just so he could get here.”
Sarratt and his team couldn’t think of a better way to honor him. On Friday, current and former players met under the lights at exactly 5 a.m. to grind out an early morning workout, just like he used to.
“Every play, he has 110% on the field,” Weaver said. “If there was a play to be made, he was making it every time.”
“When he’s getting after it, he’s getting after it. He’s not talking,” Burnett said. “You are just hearing those footsteps and seeing his hair blow in the wind. He’s just an animal.”
Aiden wore number 20, so the team and others who showed up did 20 repetitions of a different exercise every 20 yards.
“He just had a huge effect on this community,” Weaver said. “Seeing these boys come out here and do this for him… it’s crazy.”
It’s not just the legacy he leaves behind on the gridiron that will be missed, but the person he was will be missed even more.
“I love him and I am proud of him,” Burnett said. “A lot of people doubted what he would become, and he was really this great… kind person. He might mess with you here and there, but he was a great guy. I just miss him,”
Perhaps, he is now truly the highest Flying Eagle.