It's been 10 months since 16 year old Madison Stokes was killed in a tractor-trailer accident.
Since then, her soccer teammates at Lee County High and friends at Deerfield-Windsor have played with heavy hearts.
"She was so sweet. She really was, and she always made everybody laugh," says Lee County teammate Ivy Booker. "It's just crazy to think that we're here without her really."
The two teams will take the pitch next month though with Madison's memory on their minds.
The Lady Trojans and Lady Knights will play each other for the first time ever in a memorial game for Madison on July 13th.
"Well its going to be a fun game," Booker says. "It's going to be very exciting, but it's for a good cause, so it'll be very friendly."
That good cause is Madison's other love.
Before her death, Madison went on a mission trip to serve at a foster home in Honduras that stuck on her heart.
The two teams decided to donate all money raised from the memorial game to that Honduran foster home.
"After we put it together as a soccer game, we thought what else can we do that madison loved to do," says Deerfield-Windsor head soccer coach Aly Joslin. "So we talked about her last mission trip to Honduras, and figured we'll see if we can raise some money during the game."
"I think she'd be very happy," says Booker of donating the proceeds. "She'd be very pleased to see all of her friends doing something good."
At first, Joslin and Lee Co. head coach Dave Baltenberger didn't know what to expect.
"I just figured a bunch of us would get together and play a little soccer and raise about 20 bucks and call it good," he laughs. "But it's taking off."
Area businesses are donating money to the game. Madison's church is getting involved to help.
Both coaches say the game is going to be much more than they ever dreamed it could be.
"It's really spiraling out of control in a good way I think," laughs Joslin. "It's really going to be a great night."
And both say they hope to continue the memorial game every year.
The Madison Stokes Memorial Game is Saturday, July 13th at Darton State's soccer fields. Gates open at 6:30 with kickoff set for 7:30.
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