LATONIA, Ky. -- A Northern Kentucky youth football team will be missing one of its players Sunday.
The Bengal Tigers will take the field with 10 players instead of 11 in honor of 6-year-old Eli Kindt. A driver struck and killed the boy while he was riding his bike Friday evening -- two days before his football team’s last game.
According to the Covington Police Department, 45-year-old Christopher Wells drove away after striking and killing the boy. He was caught at a nearby shopping center and charged with leaving the scene of a fatal traffic collision, which is a felony in the state of Kentucky.
Coach Danny Arnold said Kindt’s teammates are having a hard time processing the loss of their friend.
“I heard a lot of the kids took it very hard,” he said.
Coach Brandon McClendon said the team is doing what they can to help the family. Part of the proceeds from the team’s fundraiser on Saturday will go towards the cost of Kindt’s headstone.
“He’s still with us. No matter what. No matter what,” McClendon said.
Arnold said he’ll remember Kindt as a lovable kid with an infectious smile.
“He was very energetic. He loved it. He’s athletic,” Arnold said. “He would go anywhere you wanted him to … if you wanted him to do something, you could guarantee he would do it.”
Other teams from across Northern Kentucky will sport helmet stickers and decals Sunday to show solidarity.
“When something like this happens to your brother, it touches everybody,” McClendon said.