Community remembers Leslie County football player who died of cancer

HYDEN, Ky. (WYMT) - Family, friends and teammates are mourning the loss of a Leslie County teenager and football player who died after a battle with cancer.

His jersey hangs on the 50-yard line of the field where he played the game he loved.

But Jordon Melton, 18, will not be wearing the maroon and white again. He died Sunday from clear cell sarcoma, a rare form of cancer.

"I don't think you could find any teacher in the school, any coach or any football player or any student member in the student body that could say a negative thing about Jordon," Leslie County High School football coach Eddie Melton (no relation) said. "He was just humble and outgoing. But he was also a pleasant person to have on your football team."

Jordon was diagnosed in July, but still played his senior year.

He was a linebacker and team captain.

"Just thinking of him....the positive influence he had on our school and how he brought our community together," LCHS principal Kevin Gay said. "And just the way he led his life by example."

Blake Bray, who played football with Jordon, said, "He was always bringing a smile to everybody. He was the greatest kid I've ever known. His smile could bring life to you."

Another teammate of Jordon's, Zack Sparks, said, "He came out his sophomore year and started the first game, tore his ACL, rehabbed and rehabbed and came back for his junior year again and then facing this he's come into it with a strong optimistic attitude and done all he could."

Students at LCHS hung posters Monday to honor their late classmate. Some wore purple ribbons and custom shirts with "Team Jordon" inscribed on them.

Similar signs and ribbons are in windows of businesses and other buildings in downtown Hyden.

"It was an honor to stand by his side at football and an honor to go to school with him," Dustin Lewis said. "(It was) an honor to be his friend but most importantly I want everyone to know he will never be forgotten at Leslie County High School."

Visitation for Jordon Melton begins Wednesday at six p.m. at Walker Funeral Home in Hyden. Another visitation will be Thursday from noon to two p.m. at the Richard Nixon Center with the funeral to follow.

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