GILMER, TX (KLTV) - For Gilmer quarterback McLane Carter, it's as simple as throwing a fade pass to the end zone.
"Our first game when we played Sulphur Springs and I threw Quinn (Fluellen) a touchdown fade," said Carter. "Desmond was known to catch fades. There's a lot of things that bring back memories of him."
Carter thinks about Desmond Pollard all the time. Carter calls him more than a teammate. He was family.
"I mean I'm fighting through it," said Carter. "He (Desmond) wants me to be happy, so I'm doing the best I can."
Pollard, Gilmer's leading receiver in 2013, died unexpectedly in March, after collapsing while playing basketball.
His teammates say he was better than good on the football field.
"Good's not the word for Dez," said Gilmer junior Quinn Fluellen. "He was great. He was this close from greatness. He deserved to be great."
Nearly three months since Pollard's death, the Buckeyes are still adjusting life without their talented teammate.
"We moved on, but we didn't move on," said Gilmer junior Jamel Jackson. "Everything we do, when it gets hard and we want to quit, we think about Dez and what he'd do."
"We talk about him (Desmond) all the time like we would if he was here," said Fluellen. "We don't think about sad stories, we think about the funny memories we have with him."
Preparing for 7 on 7 tournament's in the summer and training camp in August, the Buckeyes say every pass, every catch, every touchdown, is for Desmond Pollard.
"We're going to retire No. 8," said Fluellen. "No one is going to get it. We're going to play with him in our hearts."
Carter believes his friend is watching every practice and every game.
"We know he's with us."