There was a message of solidarity Friday afternoon from a gym packed with students, teachers and parents coping with the loss of their teenage son.
"Not a lot of words being shared, but definitely a lot of hugs. You can feel the energy in the room when you come in here. We all love John so much and we're going to miss him more than anything," said Madeline Weiss, Student Council President at St. Thomas Aquinas High School.
John Baker, 17, was a varsity football player at the school, eager to begin his senior year in less than two weeks.
Baker was killed in a boat crash and five others were injured after the boat they were riding in crashed into a bridge in Fort Lauderdale early Thursday. It happened on the south fork of the Middle River at Dixie Highway and Northeast 18th Court.
"If anything, John brought us more together. He was a friend to everyone. Just a great kid," Weiss said.
The service at St. Thomas Aquinas was about healing and remembrance for all of the six classmates on board that deadly boat crash and prayers for the four others who remain in the hospital.
"Tell your friends how much you love them cause you never know when you're going to see them next and just be kind to everyone. You'll never know how far a smile can go," Weiss expressed.
Each student wrote a different note on the banner in the gym, but their message was the same: "We are down one Raider, but your smile will not be forgotten."
The cause of the crash is still under investigation.