By Liz Kotalik. CREATED Aug 31, 2013
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A mother watches as cheerleaders take their stage and fans scream with excitement.
"This is where we came every night to watch him," Jennifer Weeks told Nine On Your Side.
But as the Empire High hit the field against Palo Verde in their season opener last night, everyone in the stands knew something was missing: their friend and teammate, Grayson Weeks.
"He was everyone's best friend," said one of his friends.
"He would always light up everyone's day, " said another.
And a his former teammate said, "He made an impact with every person he talked to."
It was December, and Grayson Weeks was only 16-years-old when he was ejected from his friends car on the freeway and another car ran him over.
He was the football captain, his team's quarter back, and a person his mother is still proud of.
"He brought joy to everyone's world," Jennifer said. "He brought joy to my world and there's nothing that could replace him."
This is the first time Grayson's mom has watched a game without him.
The first time hearing the cheers.
The first time reliving his passion.
But as another one of his friends put it: "Tonight is a way to show that he still lives in our hearts."
Grayson's number, 15, painted in the middle of the field.
A rowdy crowd falls silent in memory of their fallen friend.
And the team, took a penalty, beginning the game without a quarterback.
"Those are his boys, and he'd be proud of them," Jennifer said.
And as the rain sprinkles on the crowd, and Grayson's team plays on, a mourning mother smiles, knowing her son lives in moments like these.