When his buddies backed out at the last minute from a second-grade ensemble performance of "Greased Lightning" in their grade school talent show, Trevor Smith took the stage alone, fearlessly sporting the requisite leather jacket and bravado of a star.
Years before his death Friday at age 13, Trevor made his mark as a true character — on stage and off — the kind of kid whose confidence, humor and enthusiasm naturally engaged others and drew them to him, friends said.
His easy acceptance of others, kids of all stripes, also marked him as a rarity in middle school, they said.
"He was just a great, all-around sweet kid," said Shelly Coons, a longtime family friend who watched Trevor grow up.
"That boy was fun," said another family friend and eighth-grade history teacher, Isaac Raya. "I couldn't wait to have him in my class."