You may recall the saying, "its going to get worse before it can get better". And for one East Texas football team, this saying could’t have rung more true.
“He was kinda like my special hero. He did things that a normal sixteen year old kid didn’t do. He exceeded all of my expectations as a young man,” said Larry Warren, Josh's dad.
On July 1st, Josh Warren passed away, falling ill after a conditioning work out with his teammates. A son was lost, a friend was gone, and the struggle to fill one hole that could never truly be filled began.
“Working hard for him. If he was here I know he would be working hard with us. And we will be working hard everyday for him,” said Jordan Phillips, senior.
With every snap, with every throw, and with every hit this Pine Tree football team is playing for a teammate; and a person that they’ll never be able to replace.
“We know how much this team meant to Josh. And now that he was lost, we know how much this team means to his family. So we’re trying to show them that he still is apart of all of us, and he’s not going anywhere,” said Keshawn Gray, senior.
Wearing the name Warren on their back, this team refuses to let their lose be in vain.
“We were still on the same path, we were a little lethargic. We were complacent with where we were at. And after this tragedy struck us with Josh, we banded together as brothers. It really allowed us to come together in a way that I don’t think we could have come together any other way,” said Daniel Bonamy, senior.
“We just believe that God has a plan. And this might have been his plan to get the program to turn around. And all things work together for the good, for those who love good Lord,” said Mr. Warren.
And things are getting better for this team. Defeating Jacksonville Friday, and going into their next match-up against Gilmer, knowing they have an angle in the end zone who’s beating on them from above.
“The whole mansion, everything he’s got, he is beating on us,” said Phillips.