CARROLL COUNTY, Ga. — Carrollton High School honored one of their own in a special way Friday night.
Football player Chase McDaniel lost his battle with cancer last weekend. He was just 17.
Under the Friday night lights, McDaniel’s teammates played for more than just a chance to advance in the playoffs.
“I’ll be honest with you, it’s been rough. It’s been rough on his teammates,” athletic director Paul Fitz-Simons said.
The night became about honoring one of their own, No. 42.
McDaniel made headlines seven months ago when he took his date to the prom the same day he learned of his cancer diagnosis.
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“I think this rain are his tears of joy. I think he’s just right here with us. I mean everywhere you look it’s 42 and that’s just signs from God that he’s OK. He’s resting easy right now,” Fitz-Simons said.
Channel 2's Christian Jennings was at Friday night's game. She said you could feel McDaniel's presence in the stadium and see how many people loved him and will miss him.
“It’s bringing people together and making them realize you got to tell people you love them. You never know when it’s too late,” friend Kitty Carter said.
As the team took the field, they proudly waived a flag with McDaniel’s number in green. The green represents his lymphoma diagnosis.
“He always motivated me to be better even when I saw him suffering through this long fight. He never felt sorry for himself. He always had a smile up to his ears he would hug me, ask me how I was doing,” Carter said.
"He was one of those people who can turn your day around in just a matter of seconds and he'll just forever have an impact on Carrollton High School," classmate Secret Springer said.
McDaniel’s funeral will be held Saturday. His fellow football players are expected to serve as pallbearers.
Cox Media Group