Little Miami football team back on the field following tragedy - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Little Miami football team back on the field following tragedy

Brayden Thornbury, provided photo. Brayden Thornbury, provided photo.
Little Miami and Harrison teams shook hands and bonded before the opening kickoff. Little Miami and Harrison teams shook hands and bonded before the opening kickoff.
Players participated in a moment of silence before the game. (FOX19) Players participated in a moment of silence before the game. (FOX19)
MORROW, OH (FOX19) -

It was an emotional return to the field Friday night for the Little Miami football team as they played their first game since star player Brayden Thornbury died in a car crash.

Brayden died when his car went off the road and jumped a guardrail on East Pike Street in Morrow on Sep. 6. He was taken off life support last Saturday.

In what is usually a post-game tradition, Little Miami and Harrison teams shook hands and bonded before the opening kickoff of the game at Harrison's field. There was also a moment of silence to remember the Little Miami senior. 

Shirts that read "Pray for Bray" were worn at the game, but it's the words "Play for Bray" that are inspiring a team and community to get back to some sort of normalcy.

"Bray wouldn't want you to moan and groan he would just want you to be happy, move on with your life and basically play like he would play," said Mitchell Mayhaus, Brayden's cousin.

Authorities say that no alcohol was involved in the crash and Brayden was wearing his seatbelt at the time.

"He was one of a kind, I haven't heard one bad thing about him," said Austin Hinds.

Whether it's stickers on the back of their helmets or his jersey on the sidelines, Little Miami knows Brayden is right next to his teammates in spirit.

"You never know what's going to happen. Love your family, love them for all they're worth," said Mayhaus.

Little Miami lost the game, but many of the fans say it was a win to just have the courage to take the field tonight to honor Brayden.

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