Family, friends and teammates paid tribute Thursday to a 17-year-old Guyer High School soccer player killed in a car crash with his younger brother earlier this week.
At the start of Guyer High’s first game since the crash, a moment of silence was held for 17-year-old Diego Rivera with the soccer ball ceremonially kicked out of bounds.
Rivera and his 14-year-old brother Daniel were found dead inside their submerged car Wednesday morning in Hickory Creek.
The circumstances of their death and the crash remain under investigation.
“So much negativity is associated when someone passes away and we lose them but there is so much to celebrate,” Guyer head soccer coach Cody Schroeder said, encouraging his players to “play for Diego.”
The family of Rivera attended the game, with his father hugging players as they took the field. Friends in the stands believe Diego would have wanted the team to not just play the game as scheduled, but also win.
“His last goal was to become state champions and I hope the guys here at Guyer can do it for him,” friend Fernando Jimenez said.
Guyer went on to win 2-0 and after the game fans and teammates reveled in the win they know Diego would have appreciated.
“Diego and his brother were right here with us today and they brought us so many people to support us and they were pushing us through the wind all day long,” Schroeder said.
The tournament, which is held every year, will be renamed after Diego.