Forever young

Published 8:45 pm Monday, December 17, 2007

By By Lisa Tindell
Twenty years later, the faces in their high school yearbook pictures still hold such promise.
Four young men, leaders in their high school, all recipients of scholarships to play college football, were lost to a tragic car accident on a wet road north of Brewton.
Twins John Stacey Miller and Sean Tracy Miller, their brother Thomas Miller Jr. and Wayne McDuffie Stallworth were killed in an car accident on Dec. 14, 1987, on U.S. 31 near County Road 23 in the Castleberry area.
Ellis was the agricultural science teacher at the time the four attended school at W.S. Neal in East Brewton and taught all of the young men.
The community devastated by the deaths of the four young men has joined in efforts led by Wayne's mother, Pearl Stallworth, to create a lasting memorial to the lives cut short by tragedy.
The park, which holds dedicated swings, a tree house and a pavilion, was named Wayne Stallworth Memorial Mini Park in his memory. The signs located at the entrance of the park also announce the park's existence in the memory of Sean, John and Thomas Miller.
The foursome will forever be in the minds of family and close friends; however, former students at W.S. Neal High School hold memories of them long after their departure from the school.
Underclassmen at the school were touched by the deaths of the four teens 20 years ago and the memories surrounding the event still remain.
The four young men played football, basketball and baseball for the Eagles during their time at the school. Photos in the school's yearbooks feature them in uniforms for each team as well as class favorites during their senior year.
Frazier said the four showed a great amount of pride for their school and worked very hard at whatever they did.
At the time of their death, Thomas and Sean Miller were playing football at Troy State University on athletic scholarships. John Miller and Wayne Stallworth were attending Albany State, also on athletic scholarships.
A report in the Dec. 16, 1987, edition of The Brewton Standard following the accident named a long list of awards received by the four young athletes.
John Miller received the Joe Hammac Award in 1985 for being named the player of the year at W.S. Neal High School. He was a three-year starter for the Eagles in football and basketball and started for one year on the baseball team.
Sean Miller was a three-year letterman for the football team and was a starter for one year in basketball.
Thomas Miller was also a three-year letterman and was a starter for two years in basketball. He followed in his brother's footsteps when he received the Joe Hammac Player of the Year award in 1986.
Stallworth lettered in all three sports at the school and was playing both football and baseball at Albany State at the time of his death.
Plans for more work on Wayne Stallworth Memorial Park are continuing, Stallworth said.
Stallworth is searching for an assistant to help write a grant to secure funds for additional play equipment at the park.
Family members of the Miller brothers could not be reached for comment.

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