Fairfield Playing In Memory Of Jonathan


Coach Kevin Childers.

FAIRFIELD (December 19, 2013) It's a town that prides itself on faith and football. Playing for it's first state football title on Friday versus Argyle.

But it's faith was tested even before the first game of the season.

On the evening of Aug. 13, head coach John Bachtel got a phone call from his defensive coordinator.

"Coach Childers, who is probably my best friend, he calls me and tells me his son Jonathon committed suicide. It was pretty devastating," said Bachtel.

"When it happened I was laying in bed, my phone was going rapidly. I got up, I went straight to his house," said Fairfield receiver and defensive back Chris Lide.

"It's two in the morning, I just wanted him to know I was there for him."

"Some of the first people that showed up afterwards were these young men and I can honestly say that these kids have done probably more for me this year and my family than I've done for them," said Kevin Childers.

"This town, this community, it opened up and swallowed our whole family in and has held us up and protected us through this whole tragedy."

His adopted son Jonathan was 15 years old.

Since the incident, Childers has dedicated himself to suicide prevention, aligning with the Jason Foundation.

"What we're in the process of trying to do is pass what's call 'The Flatt Act' here in Texas. It's been passed in 12 other states," said Childers. "And what it does, it requires all certified educators to go through two hours a year of suicide prevention and awareness training. Anything myself and my family can do to prevent this from happening to another family is worth everything I do."

After everything Childers has gone through, stepping away for the season wasn't an option.

"He taught them a lot about life on just persevering," said Bachtel. "He's still hurting, they're all still hurting, we're still hurting, the kids are still hurting. But he kept going, so they said, we can keep going."

"A lot of it has been faith based, without a doubt," said Childers.

"Had it not been for God's mercy and God's hand on my family and this community, we wouldn't be where we are right now."

"Whenever you look at him and he's screaming at us and telling us, you know, not bad but trying to get us fired up," said Lide.

"You want to have that extra pull just for him and in memory of Jonathan."

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