Vigil held for football player who died in surgery day after he committed to NC college


SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Spartanburg High School students organized a “home going” candlelight vigil for senior Nick Dixon on Sunday night. 

“To get to know Nick was a blessing in my life,” said Nick’s best friend, Tyshun Moultrie.

Students, teachers and even football players from other high schools all packed into the gym at Spartanburg High School for the vigil in honor of beloved Nick Dixon.

Dixon died Friday during surgery on his knee — just a day after he committed to play football at Wingate University near Charlotte, N.C.

“Heartache and sorrow is real. I just want to believe that this is a bad dream,” Moultrie said.

Nick was described by his peers as a star athlete, a class clown, a loving friend and all around outstanding student.

“Nick loved everybody, there was never a day that he didn’t,” Moultrie said. You never heard anything out of his mouth saying I hate you, it was always ‘I love you and I’ll be there and I got your back’.” 

But above all, those who knew him, say Nick loved his family. 

“Nick so badly wanted to make his mom proud. Nick wanted to make it in life, so he could take care of his mother and give her the finer things in life.” 

On Friday, Nick went into surgery for a torn ACL and meniscus, but during the surgery, complications arose. His stepfather says doctors fought to save Nick’s life, but tragically weren’t able to.

“The doctors did what they could to save him. Yeah, we wanted him to stay. Like the bible says ‘I won’t let you suffer too long. I’ll bring you home.’ God knows us, when we don’t know ourselves,” Tim, Nick’s stepdad, said. 

His death has rocked the home of the Viking to its core. 

“This is something I will never understand in my life, but God has a plan and you have to trust that this is the right thing for Nick.” 

The student-organized vigil started with a slideshow of pictures and videos of Nick. His friends shared uplifting memories and rallied behind Nick’s family, who sat in the front row at the program.

It ended with prayers, songs and a balloon release led by Nick’s best friend. 

The Vikings say only united can they overcome the tragedy of losing “lucky number 7.” 

“I do know that bringing people together, we can certainly move a mountain,” said Principal Jeff Stevens. 

Dixon will be laid to rest next Saturday. 

Spartanburg High School is going to be holding fundraisers to help out Dixon’s family. Donations can be dropped off at the school. 

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