The Tarleton State Texans are mourning the loss of the team's director of operations for the past 14 years.
Cheryl Spellmeier died this past weekend in a car crash involving a tractor trailer, and at the Lone Star Conference media day on Tuesday, the players who thought of her as a second mother said they will dedicate the season to her.
"I have known her for five years now. She raised great men," said senior Clifton Rhodes.
"I came in eyes red, watery. I came in and she said, 'Well, you have allergies.' I never had allergies before and she said, 'In Stephenville you do.' She knew which medicine to get," said senior Charles Moore.
Spellmeier was the first face some of the players ever saw in the football program and held the title of director of operations
But to many of them, she was simply "Momma," there to remind them about academics and to teach the lessons of life.
"Just her talking to me and I'm like, 'Wow.' I could be having a bad day and she could come over and show me a picture of something, like, 'Your life isn't that bad.' And I start smiling. She always brought a smile to my face," added Rhodes.
Rhodes' face still lights up when he talks about her
Coach Cary Fowler said he has never seen anyone so ingrained in her job with passion for people and students.
"If they have to come see the head coach, it is not always good. But the worst thing for them is they had to sit in my office before they made it to her office. And she would get onto them. And they were shameful of anything happening because they never wanted to let her down," said Fowler.
Now, the players will return the favor.
"Without a doubt we will dedicate the season to her. I know we have a guardian angel watching over us now," Fowler said.
A memorial service for Spellmeier is set for Friday, Aug. 1, at 10 a.m. at Saint Mary's Catholic Church.
The school has started a scholarship in her memory, and you can contact the development office to donate.