Who was Jamie McHenry? Jamie was quite a character. For a 13 year old, he was quick-witted and had a fabulous sense of humor, which sometimes got him in trouble :) He was a loyal friend, a great classmate and an excellent student. Here's a wonderful video our friend, Marc Schneider, created for Jamie's funeral that gives you a little glimpse at our guy. There is also more text and pictures below.
Here is another video created by Marc...
And here is a wonderful video by Mike Garrison with photos and footage capturing Jamie's RocketShot!
Jamie loved sports from a very young age, both as a player and a spectator. Tball, softball, soccer, flag football, tennis... he loved them all... but, nothing excited Jamie more than the game of lacrosse. After one of my co-workers gave me his grandson's lacrosse sticks to give to Jamie when he was only 5, Jamie was hooked. He practiced for hours in the driveway and googled videos of local teams playing the sport. He worked hard to become a great player and was known for the velocity of his shot which earned him the nickname, "RocketShot". He loved the lacrosse culture and learned all about the history of the sport. He was very proud to be known as a “Lax Bro”. He played Lacrosse for several seasons out of Newtown Park and then became one of the original members of The Centennial Junior Knights and The Georgia Outlaws on their inaugural teams. He also played basketball for the Centennial High School Jr. Knights feeder programs and loved everything about being a Jr. Knight. He hung out at the High School whenever he could and dreamed of playing for the Knights.
He also played Basketball for the Centennial Junior Knight & St. Bridgid's Catholic Church, swam for the Mayfair Marlins and played saxophone in the middle school band.
Jamie was also a huge sports fan. He was crazy about the Florida Gators in everything but especially football and basketball... not for any reason in particular other than the fact that Jamie was a contrarian. All of his friends loved The Georgia Bulldogs so Jamie had to be different. He and his friends would have long arguments about their football rivalries. Gators shirts, shorts, hats and sweatshirts were a big part of his wardrobe. It was his dream to go to Florida and study sports broadcasting or sports management. He wanted to make a career in the sports world he loved so much.
He loved being an older brother to Emily. They would fight like siblings do but he would brag and gush to his friend’s about how great his sister is and what an incredible athlete she is… how many goals Emily scored at lacrosse and how amazing she is at tennis. He took great pride in teaching her how to play lacrosse and working with her on drills in the driveway. Then at games, when Emily would score, he would look at us and say, “See, I taught her everything she knows”
Our beloved Jamie was hit and killed by a car while on Spring Break with a friend's family in Florida. His services were attended by over a thousand people including nearly a hundred of his fellow athletes who formed an honor guard as Jamie's casket was brought into the church. It was an amazing tribute to a wonderful boy who is missed every day.
Sunday Conversation with Christine McHenry featured in The Atlanta Journal and Constitution
Foundation honors teen with passion for lacrosse
Jan 26, 2017
By Ann Hardy
A lot of people are seeing to it that Jamie McHenry is not forgotten. After the 13-year-old was struck and killed by a car, his family started a foundation in his honor. Given Jamie’s passion for lacrosse, the foundation has provided students with lacrosse equipment and scholarships. A $10,000 donation is going to construct a new entranceway to the Centennial High School stadium. Perhaps nothing has done more to keep Jamie’s memory alive than Team 8, a club team from around the metro area. Each player’s jersey incorporates an 8, Jamie’s number, but no one wears just that number. “We miss him every second of every day,” said Jamie’s mom, Christine, “but keeping the foundation going and giving back to the community is our way of still taking care of him.”
Q: Tell us about your son.
A: Jamie was such a great kid, so full of life, character and confidence. He was quick-witted, with a great sense of humor. He loved all sports, as both a participant and a spectator, but his true passion was lacrosse. A coworker gave me his grandson’s used lacrosse sticks and Jamie, who was 4 years old at the time, never let go of them. He also taught his sister, Emily, how to play.
Q: Can you talk about his death?
A: Jamie went with the family of his best friend, Nick, to Florida for spring break — it was his first big trip away from us. He and Nick were crossing the street to what I picture as a kids’ heaven — a strip mall with an ice cream parlor, an arcade and a surf shop. A driver hit Jamie and he was killed instantly. Almost four years later, it still seems so unreal. I guess it always will.
Q: How is Nick doing?
A: I put that question to Nick and this is what he texted back: “I am always remembering Jamie in everything I do. Every game, I write his initials on my wrist tape. I always had great friends and leaders to help me cope with the loss of my best friend.”
Q: Can you talk about the foundation?
A: We formed a nonprofit to raise money to give back to the local sports community. Every August, we host our fundraiser, The Rocketshot 5K, at Centennial High School. Jamie’s nickname was “Rocketshot” for the velocity of his shot on goal. In the past three years, we have raised over $30,000. Each year, Jamie’s core group of best buddies are there to represent him, along with 500 runners.
Q: How is the money spent?
A: Each year, we award lacrosse scholarships to a boy and girl at Centennial. We also award four basketball scholarships. We have donated some new stadium flags for the school, a lacrosse bounceback wall, and we give out character awards to a graduating fifth and eighth grader at Jamie’s elementary and middle schools. We also run a lacrosse equipment program for kids who are new to the sport but can’t afford helmets and uniforms.
Q: Are you still in touch with Jamie’s friends?
A: We still receive messages and texts from them and they continue to send messages to Jamie’s Instagram account. Now that Emily is in high school, they keep an eye out for her as Jamie would. They all still wear their orange and blue #LiveforJamie wristbands — Jamie was a huge Florida fan. They attend the annual events we host on Jamie’s birthday. Seeing his friends go on with their lives without Jamie is hard, but knowing how important he was and is to them gives us strength.
Q: Team 8 sounds amazing.
A: Providing financial support for a lacrosse tribute team is one of the most rewarding things we have done. Team 8 was featured in U.S. Lacrosse Magazine and is coached by Jamie’s former lacrosse coach, Frank Cecere. He handpicks players from 14 local school systems and a few from Tennessee and Florida. A lot of them played with Jamie. As the team breaks from a huddle, they scream, “Jamie!” It makes my heart smile because I know how proud Jamie would be.