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Bainbridge High School community mourns the loss of Principal Roy Mathews

Roy Mathews' death is mourned by his Bainbridge High School community.
Roy Mathews' death is mourned by his Bainbridge High School community.(WCTV)
Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 12:26 AM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - In Decatur County, friends and coworkers of Bainbridge High School Principal Roy Mathews are mourning his sudden passing Wednesday.

They told WCTV that his genuine character and quest for excellence will always be remembered.

Mathews was loved by many in the Bainbridge community. They say his death leaves a hole in their hearts that will be hard to fill.

Mathews was known for his vibrant smile and unbreakable attitude as a leader at BHS, so when news of his death spread, the community was at a loss for words.

“I was hurt. I was hurt because I had just saw him maybe like a couple weeks ago you know when we all came back to school I had just talked to him and we laughed and joked and it was… I mean… it’s crazy,” said BHS football coach and Mathews family friend Rohan Gaines.

“Well, my heart sank,” said Bearcats head football coach Jeff Littleton. “I mean he was a brother to me. I felt like he was a brother to me.”

Those who knew him say Mathews was the embodiment of a Bearcat and he wanted nothing but the best for all in the Bainbridge community.

“He expected excellence, that was his motto and we didn’t want to ever let him down,” said Coach Littleton. “He means so much not just to the school and this county in the system but to this whole community. Everybody loved him.”

Gaines says that Mathews is always making sure the people around him felt special.

“You know just that energy, the energy, the vibe. Every time we ever encountered, whether it was in the hallway, whether it was outside of school, it was just the energy in the vibe,” said Gaines. “He loved me like I love him. He cared about me like I cared about him and that was an amazing feeling.”

And with the Bainbridge football team now trying to turn their focus to a scrimmage on Friday, Coach Littleton says they’re dedicating this season to principal Mathews as they strive for excellence.

“There’s no doubt, we’re going to play in honor of him and we’re going to look back to his virtues and really the high standards he set for us and expectations that he set for us,” shared Coach Littleton.

Staff at Bainbridge High School say there will be a balloon flying vigil at 7:20 am Friday morning in honor of principal Roy Mathews.

Decatur county schools released a statement saying they won’t release any cause of death in the case.

There will be a memorial service for Mathews this Saturday August 14th at the Bainbridge High School gymnasium at 11 am.

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