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Bethel community holds vigil to remember Kyle Lewis

By Scott Wright, Staff Writer, Modified: July 28, 2010 at 11:14 pm •  Published: July 28, 2010

The relaxed setting of the vigil gave students and others in the community the opportunity to openly grieve and celebrate Lewis' life in a way that might not feel comfortable amid the formalness of a funeral.

"It helped me to know that everyone was here supporting each other — that we're all here for Kyle," said Jason Swafford, Lewis' cousin and close friend. "It helps to know there are so many people going through what you're going through.

"I looked up to Kyle so much. Everyone loved to hang out with him as much as they could."

Lewis was one of four Bethel athletes selected to All-State teams along with softball players Taylor Beach and Brittany Watson, and Lewis' basketball teammate, Cale Jackson.

The softball All-State games were played in June, but Jackson considered skipping the basketball All-State game tonight at Oral Roberts' Mabee Center. Instead, he decided to honor his friend before the game by wearing Bethel's yellow warm-up shirt with Lewis' name and No. 3 on the back.

And Jackson's father, Greg, hopes that every Bethel student carries a piece of Lewis with them from now on.

"When I describe someone, I want you young people to be like, don't look at people you see on TV," Greg Jackson said while addressing the crowd at the vigil. "If you want an idol, if you want someone to be like, be like Kyle Lewis. He was one of the best." has disabled the comments for this article.