VACAVILLE- It was a heartfelt tribute for a slain Vacaville High School senior and football player Friday night.
Teammates, classmates and family all remembered the life of 18-year-old Demetrious “The Meech” Ward. Ward was in his truck when he was shot and killed early Monday morning.
“There’s a lot of feeling. We’re all in this together tonight,” Vacaville High School Principal Ed Santopadre said.
“I think he’d like it,” Ward’s father Kevin Ward said. “He’d say, ‘I’m here for you. Keep going. Take us to the state.'”
The Vacaville Bulldogs varsity football team walked out proudly holding picture of the high school senior. Right behind them, teammates held a frame containing Ward’s football jersey.
“Our hearts are broken. Our spirits are dampened as we, the bulldog family, mourn the loss of our own,” the announcer said before the game.
Kevin Ward struggled to hold back the tears during the memorial. The Ward Family was invited down to the field for a special remembrance for the teen.
“We’re all just devastated. He had some rough patches early on and had turned,” Football Coach Mike Sullivan said. “He bragged to me last week about his last report card. He had straight As.”
“It’s so shocking that it would even happen,” Coach Fred Jones said. “You go, ‘Why him? Why Demetrious?'”
As the search for answers continues, on the field, a promise to play hard, to play with heart.
“Our football team has to keep going and honor his memory by playing the way he wanted us to,” teammate Reese Peterson said.
“We’ll miss him. but he’ll live on in our hearts,” Ward’s aunt Connie said.
In the end, the Vacaville Bulldogs pulled off a big beat the Rodgriguez Mustangs, winning 61-7.