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2014 RHS alumnus dies on ski trip

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Former Bearcat Jack Lindsey remembered for positive attitude
012715 Jack Lindsey C.jpg
Air Force Academy Cadet 4th Class John “Jack” Lindsey, a 2014 Ruston High School graduate, sits in the pilot’s seat of a Pave Hawk combat search and rescue helicopter. Lindsey died Saturday as the result of a skiing accident in Summit County, Colorado.

Ruston High School held its annual football banquet Monday night to celebrate its heroes from the 2014 gridiron season.

But there was also a somber tone to the night as the Bearcats paid tribute to and mourned the loss of one of their own.

Air Force Academy Cadet 4th Class John “Jack” Lindsey, an 18-year-old 2014 Ruston High School graduate, died Saturday while skiing at Keystone Resort in Summit County, Colorado, the academy said in a Monday release. He was pronounced dead at the scene, and the cause of death was ruled an accident.

“The academy is deeply saddened by the loss of one of our own,” Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson said. “Our most sincere condolences go out to Jack’s family. This tragedy affects not only his family at home, but all of our cadets, staff and faculty who were fortunate enough to know Jack and were touched by his positive attitude and passion for life.”

Lindsey played football both under Billy Laird and his final season under Brad Laird, who took over the reins from his father as RHS football coach in 2013.

“I only got to know him that one year, but Jack was an extremely hard worker and was dedicated to Ruston High School and Ruston High football,” Brad Laird said. “He worked himself into being a contributor his senior year, especially on special teams.

“It was just his work ethic and his love for Ruston football and Ruston High in general. I’m very grateful for that year I got to be around him.”

“We talked about him tonight at the banquet. We were celebrating the 2014 season, but we did it with a heavy heart. I grew up around Ruston High football and even when I was gone, I knew that once you’re a Bearcat, you’re always a Bearcat. As we celebrated (Monday night), we did it with him. We talked about him and made sure everyone knows how big a part he still is of Ruston High.”

Former Ruston High principal Mike Milstead, now chief academic officer of Lincoln Parish Schools, remembers Lindsey as one of the top students at RHS.

“Jack was an excellent student at Ruston High,” Milstead said. “He graduated with honors and the night of the 2014 graduation ceremony, Air Force personnel presented him with official recognition of being accepted into the Air Force Academy. He was a hard worker not only as a student but outside of the school setting as well. At one time he was involved with three jobs at the same time. He was very laid back, and you got the opinion of him that he could handle just about any situation.

“By the time he graduated from RHS, he already had his pilot’s license. He was part of a close-knit group of seniors whom he enjoyed being with. When I spoke with him in the hall from time to time, he had a smile on his face and was most pleasant and gracious. He was one of the finest of students and kids.”

In a letter of recommendation Milstead wrote for Lindsey as part of the Air Force Academy application process, Milstead said “What is the most revealing about Jack, though, is his character. He is a young man who is dependable, looked up to and has great values related to right choices over wrong

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