High school honors fallen teammate killed in car crash with one last home game
NEWTON, Iowa (WHO) -- As Newton High School seniors took the field for their last home football game one team leader could not.
"It's really hard that he's not here, but he's still with us," said senior offensive lineman Caden Manning.
In June just three months before his 17 birthday, a car crash near Kellogg took Trenton Brady's life.
His coach Ed Ergenbright said, "Obviously a very tough day for our whole community and obviously our team."
While the absence of Trenton was felt, the community honored his memory on the gridiron for Senior Night.
The P.A. announcer described the 16-year-old and said, "Trenton Brady was a man of faith, family, and football."
All season long, they've had Trenton, an offensive lineman, protecting their blind side.
"It's T.B., his initials on a square sticker on the left side of the back of our helmet."
Caden says it's given the team strength, "It kind of feels like he's right there with you and his spirit and all that, telling you to go harder."
Trenton's number 52, now retired.
"He was actually buried in it," said Coach Ergenbright.
A replica hangs on Trenton's locker.
"Everyday I walk by it and look at it and try and remember him and go out with a mindset to practice and play like him," said Caden.
Coach Ergenbright said Trenton's been there every step of the way.
"The senior captains go out to center field each game with his jersey," he said. "He would have been a captain so it's just a way for our kids to know he's still with us and to honor the way he carried himself."
The team isn't alone. Cheerleaders showed their support and a tribute wall signed by the community greeted everyone in attendance.
"They will remember him even after high school is over," said Coach Ergenbright.
On this October night, "Cardinal Pride" wrapped it's wings around one of their own.
It was also announced that a $1,500 scholarship will be awarded to a student in Trenton's graduating class of 2017 at the end of the school year.