Vigil for Herculaneum High School football player who died on family cruise

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Vigil Held for High School Football Player Who Died on Cruise

HERCULANEUM, MO (KTVI) – The Herculaneum High School community came together Friday night for a vigil remembering the life of a student who left a lasting impression on the student body.

Austin Ray passed away May 31 on a Disney cruise to Alaska with his family. His parents said he simply stopped breathing.

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Ray was born with a rare genetic metabolic condition that damaged his kidneys, liver, muscles, eyes and central nervous system. Despite the young man's failing body, his spirit was strong; that's what his fellow classmates were remembering about him at Friday's vigil. He made the wrestling team as a freshman, played on the baseball and football teams, and also served as the basketball manager.

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High school football head injury concussion lawsuit filed
FILE - In this July 29, 2014 file photo, Joseph Siprut, left, attorney to Daniel Bukal, a star quarterback at Notre Dame College Prep in Niles from 1999 to 2003, listens while attorney Steve Berman speaks at a news conference. Bukal, a former high school quarterback followed in the steps of one-time pro and college players Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, by suing a sports governing body - in this case the Illinois High School Association - saying it didn't do enough to protect him from concussions when he played and still doesn't do enough to protect current players. (AP Photo/Stacy Thacker, File)
Former NFL player Shawn Wooden speak with members of the media after a hearing on the proposed NFL concussion settlement Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, outside of the U.S. Courthouse in Philadelphia. If the NFL's estimated $1 billion settlement of concussion claims isn't approved, the league will pursue "scorched-earth litigation," a lead lawyer for former players said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
FILE - In this Aug. 16, 2014, file photo, Arkansas guard Brey Cook (74) wears a Riddell SpeedFlex helmet during a preseason NCAA college football practice in Fayetteville, Ark. With lawsuits and concern regarding concussions hanging over every level of football, the race to develop safer helmets and other equipment has never been more intense. (AP Photo/Gareth Patterson, File)
Adrian Arrington, a former safety at Eastern Illinois University, plays with his children from left, Andria Arrington, Ayana Lucero, and Isaiah Dye, while talking about enduring five concussions while playing, some so severe he has says he couldn't recognize his parents afterward, during an interview with The Associated Press at his home Tuesday, July 29, 2014, in Bloomington Ill. Subsequent headaches, memory loss, seizures and depression made it difficult to work or even care for his children. The NCAA agreed to settle a class-action head-injury lawsuit by creating a $70 million fund to diagnose thousands of current and former college athletes to determine if they suffered brain trauma playing football, hockey, soccer and other contact sports. Arrington was the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
Adrian Arrington, a former safety at Eastern Illinois University, sits with his daughter, Andria, as he talks about enduring five concussions while playing football, some so severe he has says he couldn't recognize his parents afterward, during an interview with The Associated Press at his home Tuesday, July 29, 2014, in Bloomington Ill. Subsequent headaches, memory loss, seizures and depression made it difficult to work or even care for his children. On Tuesday, the NCAA agreed to settle a class-action head-injury lawsuit by creating a $70 million fund to diagnose thousands of current and former college athletes to determine if they suffered brain trauma playing football, hockey, soccer and other contact sports. Arrington was the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
Deanna Kathumbi-Jackson, rear, of Sandy Springs, Ga., participates in a drill with Atlanta Falcons fullback Patrick DiMarco during a youth football safety clinic at Kings Ridge Christian School on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, in Alpharetta, Ga. The purpose was to educate mothers on concussion symptoms, proper tackling techniques and correct fitting of helmets and pads as the NFL seeks to keep the sport growing amid lawsuits brought by former players during the last few years. (AP Photo/Jason Getz)
Mary Ann Easterling, the widow of former NFL player Ray Easterling, reacts during a news conference, Tuesday, April 9, 2013, in Philadelphia, after a hearing to determine whether the NFL faces years of litigation over concussion-related brain injuries. Thousands of former players have accused league officials of concealing what they knew about the risk of playing after a concussion. The lawsuits allege the league glorified violence as the game became a $9 billion-a-year industry. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Former NFL player Dorsey Levens listens to Mary Ann Easterling, the widow of former NFL player Ray Easterling, during a news conference Tuesday, April 9, 2013, in Philadelphia after a hearing to determine whether the NFL faces years of litigation over concussion-related brain injuries. Thousands of former players have accused league officials of concealing what they knew about the risk of playing after a concussion. The lawsuits allege the league glorified violence as the game became a $9 billion-a-year industry. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Former NFL player Dorsey Levens, right, extends a hand as Mary Ann Easterling, the widow of former NFL player Ray Easterling, reacts as former NFL player Kevin Turner, left, looks on during a news conference, Tuesday, April 9, 2013, in Philadelphia, after a hearing to determine whether the NFL faces years of litigation over concussion-related brain injuries. Thousands of former players have accused league officials of concealing what they knew about the risk of playing after a concussion. The lawsuits allege the league glorified violence as the game became a $9 billion-a-year industry. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
FILE - In this July, 1975 file photo, Atlanta Falcons safety Ray Easterling is shown. A concussion-related lawsuit bringing together scores of cases has been filed in federal court, accusing the NFL of hiding information that linked football-related head trauma to permanent brain injuries. Lawyers for former players say more than 80 pending lawsuits are consolidated in the "master complaint" filed Thursday, June 7, 2012, in Philadelphia. Mary Ann Easterling will remain a plaintiff despite the April suicide of her husband, Ray, who had been a named plaintiff in a suit filed last year. (AP Photo/File)
FILE - In this Sept. 10, 1978, file photo, Atlanta Falcons' Ray Easterling, center, grimaces while aided by team trainers after getting injured during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Los Angeles. Easterling, who helped lead the team's vaunted defense in the 1970s and later filed a high-profile lawsuit against the NFL targeting the league's handling of concussion-related injuries, died Thursday, April 19, 2012, in Richmond, Va., said his wife, Mary Ann Easterling. He was 62. (AP Photo/Scott Harms)
FILE - In this Jan. 10, 2010 file photo, New England Patriots linebacker Junior Seau (55) warms up on the field before an NFL wild-card playoff football game in Foxborough, Mass. The family of Junior Seau has opted out of the proposed NFL settlement with former players over concussion-related injuries. The family will continue its wrongful death lawsuit against the league. Seau, a star linebacker for 20 seasons who made 11 Pro Bowls, committed suicide in 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
FILE - This Oct. 3, 2011 file photo shows NFL football Commissioner Roger Goodell answering questions from the media after speaking about concussions at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, in Washington. The NFL moved Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012 to try to shut down lawsuits filed by thousands of former players who say they suffered or fear suffering permanent brain injuries from football-related concussions, calling the issue a "labor dispute" that should be resolved not by courts but by terms of the collective bargaining agreement. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 7, 2007 file photo, New England Patriots linebacker Junior Seau runs with the ball after an interception during New England's 34-17 win over the Cleveland Browns in a football game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Senior U.S. District Judge Anita Brody in Philadelphia, announced Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, that the NFL and more than 4,500 former players want to settle concussion-related lawsuits for $765 million. The plaintiffs include at least 10 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, along with and the family of Seau, who committed suicide last year. The global settlement would fund medical exams, concussion-related compensation and medical research. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson, File)
Plaintiff Adrian Arrington talks with his attorney Joe Siprut (not pictured) about a class action lawsuit on December 18, 2012, against the NCAA. Arrington said he suffered five concussions while playing college football at Eastern Illinois University and now suffers from seizures and blackouts. (Phil Velasquez Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images)
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Ray would have been a junior in the fall semester and was set to play on the football team again.

The Herculaneum football team will wear a commemorative decal with his number on their helmets this season. And Ray's number will be on the sleeve of the team's camp shirts.

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