Family and friends of Benjamin "Kit" Baney, the Herndon High School junior who was found dead by family members on Sunday, Dec. 3, mourned last week the loss of the boy who had once wanted to be a professional baseball player. He was 16.
"It's just a tremendous loss to us here at the school," said Herndon High School principal Frances Ivey, who described Baney as a strong student and athlete. "Anytime that someone is lost at that age is just an utter tragedy."
Baney's family and friends held a memorial service on Friday afternoon at Herndon United Methodist Church, where Baney was remembered for his loyal friendship and love of sports, according to friends and the Adams Green Funeral Home. His remains were cremated, the funeral home added.
BANEY WAS QUIET, but once you go to know him he was one of the "nicest, most loyal guys" to have as a friend, said Tony Hulme, a 16-year-old Herndon High School junior who had been friends with Baney since kindergarten.
One of Hulme's earliest memories of his friendship with Baney was in wrestling with fingers as kindgarten students, he said.
With a great love for baseball, Baney had played on Herndon High School's junior varsity team his sophomore year for coach Mark Rueffert, a 4th grade teacher at Bull Run Elementary.
"He was a guy who came to the field ready to play everyday," said Rueffert. "He was just a very motivated kid, he came to get better and he loved to play baseball."
Reasserting that Baney was a quiet person, Rueffert said that you could always trust him to loyally do what he said he would do.
"He was one of those guys that you didn't always need to be looking over your shoulder at," said Rueffert. "You could be practicing and you could trust that he was doing what was expected of him."
THE FACT THAT not many students at Herndon High School got the chance to really know Kit Baney didn't stand in the way of a school-wide sense of loss, said Hulme.
"We saw a lot of people who didn't really know him, but they were really sad by what happened," Hulme said. "I just can't explain it, but it really hit everybody hard."
The loss came especially hard for Hulme, who had known Baney for most of his life.
"I'll remember him forever, he was one of my best friends," Hulme said. "You really don't get the chance to meet a lot of people like Kit in your life."