The friends and family of a fallen Timber Creek student are remembering the bright smile and positive influence of track and field star, while encouraging students to take their safety seriously during upcoming events.

Timber Creek Class of 2016 graduate Chase Dennis died May 12 after drowning at a lake following his graduation from Coffeyville Community College in Kansas. Dennis competed in track and field events and was on the football team while at Timber Creek.

According to his girlfriend, TCHS Senior Destinee Luke, Dennis was celebrating qualifying for nationals in discus and hammer throw and was excited to start at Northwestern State University in Louisiana after having signed with them the week before.

In a statement from CCC Head Track Coach Craig Perry, Dennis was described as being a “fantastic kid” that was “full of life.” Those sentiments have been echoed by Falcon students and teachers that knew him.

“Chase was such a good guy,” Luke said. “I knew he had an impact on people, but now, I know he influenced a lot of people.” Luke said she remembered Dennis encouraging other runners at track events.

A candlelight vigil is planned for Dennis on Wednesday, May 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the discus circle at TCHS. Those who were close to Dennis are encouraged to bring something that symbolized him.

“So many people have asked if there’s anything they can do, and what you can do is be there on Wednesday,” Luke said.

A wake for Chase Dennis is planned from 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday, May 21, 2018 at Sunset Baptist Church, 721 Manning Street, Grand Prairie, TX 75051. Funeral services are scheduled for the next day, May 22 at 12 p.m. at Sunset Baptist Church. UPDATE: The time of the funeral was moved to noon, May 22. Previously, it was scheduled for 11 a.m.

Timber Creek’s Athletic Booster Club will be taking donations for a scholarship to be awarded in his name at the Track and Field Banquet this Friday, May 18. They will be collecting donations at the vigil and at the Timber Creek Football spring game on Thursday, May 17. The JV starts at 6 p.m. with varsity at 7 p.m. Cash and checks made out to TCHS ABC are accepted in person, and the link to donate online is here:

Safety Encouraged for Future Events

Dennis’ girlfriend, Destinee Luke, along with TCHS Principal Donnie Bartlett spoke to Talon and TCTV to encourage students to think about safety during upcoming events like prom and graduation.

“I know that everyone wants to go out Prom night, Graduation night, have a good time…I know everyone’s going to want to have fun,” Luke said. “But if you go somewhere together, stay together, be responsible.”

Specifically, Luke and Principal Donnie Bartlett want to stress making safe choices during parties and events outside of school.

“We know there are opportunities out there for you to make the wrong decision,” Bartlett said. “Again, I ask that you keep this in your mind and maybe it’ll help you make the right decision.”

“It’s not too late for some of the people that I know,” Luke said. “You don’t feel like something like this could happen to you, but you just never know.”