Northeast Lauderdale High School senior Corey Moss is being remembered at the school this week for his smile and fun-loving personality.
His death was confirmed Monday on the school's official Facebook page.
“There are no adequate words to explains what’s on our hearts & our minds during this time,” the Facebook post read. “We have lost a teammate, a student, a classmate, a friend, a son, a brother, a cousin & our Trojan family will never be the same. Corey gave the best hugs, laughed with his whole body & had the most mischievous grin that could get him out of almost anything. His positive attitude & love for life with be with us forever. May peace surround us like never before.”
Northeast Lauderdale football coach Maurice Gowdy shared a statement about Moss, calling him not only a standout defensive player for the Trojans but, more importantly, someone toward whom people were drawn.
“He was a senior and a starting inside linebacker,” Gowdy said in the statement. “Corey will be remembered for his incredibly uplifting smile. He had the ability to make everyone around him feel better about themselves. He loved his family, teammates, teachers, coaches and classmates very deeply. Corey Moss was a gentle giant. Everyone who ever met Corey and got to know him will tell you that they were better off for getting to be a part of Corey’s life, and even though he is gone he will definitely not be forgotten. He was a great kid.”
Details surrounding his death were not made public.
Nicole Wright, who teaches 11th-grade English at Northeast Lauderdale, said Corey Moss was energetic and full of life. Like Gowdy, Wright mentioned his smile was something that stood out to everyone.
“He was very uplifting to classmates and treated everyone like family,” Wright said. “You always have those kids that you’re drawn to that seem to just completely need you or know that you care about them, and they know they can bring smiles to your day. With Corey, he would always smile even when I got onto him, and he would say, ‘You know you love me.’”
Jacob Drury, assistant principal at Northeast Lauderdale, said he didn’t have enough time to get to know Corey, as he had just started his job at the school this fall. School policy dictates wearing face masks to protect from the coronavirus and doesn’t allow students to wear hoods over their heads, and Drury said any time Corey didn’t follow those guidelines he never got angry with Corey because of that smile he always wore.
“I didn’t know him well — it’s hard to learn kids in masks — but he would come to school and maybe not have his mask on, and he’s sitting there with his huge smile,” Drury said. “He was hard to get onto. One day he was wearing a hood, and I told him he had to take it off, and he was sitting there smiling. I always remember him because of his smile.”
The impact Corey left wasn’t limited to just people at the high school, either.
“I talked to another teacher, and they said Corey didn’t want to disappoint the people around him,” Wright said. “He didn’t care as much about himself as he did everyone around him. My daughter, a middle schooler, had met him through me teaching him, and he was a good inspiration for her. They referenced each other as big brother and little sister. He had an impact on all the kids in the Northeast community.”
Northeast Lauderdale Principal Josh Herrington said in a statement that everyone at the school was mourning the loss of Corey Moss.
“The Trojan family has suffered a great loss,” Herrington’s statement said. “Corey was an amazing young man who will always be remembered. His legacy and smile will shine bright for years to come in Trojan Nation.”
Wright said it’s been difficult for students and faculty to process the loss, but everyone is relying on one another for support.
“It’s been really hard for teachers and students because he’s such a large part of Northeast High School,” Wright said. “He touched everyone on this campus through his smile and great personality. One thing I can say is the teachers and students relied on each other during this time and have come together even more as a family to support each other and try to make it through this tough time. This campus is trying to hold each other together.”