Community holds vigil for Houston

Published 7:00 am Saturday, August 8, 2020

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On Thursday night, the Lanett community mourned the loss of Jaquarious “Quae” Houston, a member of the Lanett High School class of 2020 that died suddenly last weekend.

People from all over Chambers County gathered together at Lanett High School for a candlelight vigil for the former football and basketball star.

“I thank each and every one of you for coming out to celebrate the life of my son,” Houston’s mother Naya Story said. “Everybody that knows me, knows that I love my children. They know that there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for my children. I just ask each and every one of you to pray for my strength, I just need the strength to keep going. I never in a million years imagined life without Quae. I want all you young men to know, whatever you have to do, do it. Whatever you have to do to be great, go be great, because Quae wanted to go be great. He had a purpose. Quae touched all of y’all. If you don’t do anything else, just pray for me and my baby and y’all keep my baby’s name alive.”

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Houston was a two-star athlete at Lanett, winning four state championships in his four years in high school. He was committed to play football at Faulkner University, where he was going to attend in the fall.

Houston graduated from Lanett High School in May and was fifth in his class.

“My child lived his 18 years on this Earth,” Story said. “His purpose was served. All y’all do what you’re supposed to do because Quae wanted to do what was right, and he always had fun. When y’all think about Quae, think about his smile, think about all the good memories y’all had with Quae because he was the humblest child ever.”

Lanett Booster Club President Stanley Roberts echoed Story’s sentiment about Houston.

Roberts brought up how the booster club would give meals to the Panthers after every game. Every single time he would go through the line, no matter the outcome of the game, Houston would look at each member of the club and thank them for the meal.

“Every time No. 3 would come through the line, he would say ‘Thank you, Mrs. Sandra. Thank you, Mrs. Sherry,’” Roberts said. “I’m not talking about one time, I’m talking every time. Quae was a representative of the Lanett City Schools football team. At that time of respect, No. 3 showed a lot — the utmost respect. You can’t get that in a whole lot of children.”