Azle High School Football Team to Honor Teammate Killed in Plane Crash

Thursday night teammates plan to honor Jack Schwantz ,18, who died in a plane crash with his father over the weekend.

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The Azle High School football team is still trying to come to terms with the loss of a teammate who died in a plane crash last weekend.

Jack Schwantz, 18, was killed in the crash last Saturday. The pilot of the plane, identified by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office as 55-year-old Charles Schwantz, the teenager's father who was piloting the plane, was also killed.

"He certainly loved the game of football and loved his teammates, but he wanted to be a pilot. His father, who perished in the flight as well, was a pilot as well, so they enjoyed flying together on the weekends," said Devon Dorris, the head football coach for Azle High School.

Dorris said he had passed by the scene Saturday morning and would find out hours later it involved one of his players.

The Azle High School football team is still trying to come to terms with the loss of a teammate who died in a plane crash last weekend.

Schwantz was described as a young man who was a leader.

" He was compassionate, he loved big, and you know he didn't have a single enemy on the team or probably in the school at all," said Dorris. "Jack was the type of kid that tried to go out of his way to make everybody feel welcome, feel happy he was just the definition of the type of teammate that you would love to have on your team."

The teen played center and had been getting ready for the first game of his senior year, according to Dorris.

On Thursday, the team plans on paying tribute to Schwantz, who was number 58, in their game of the season against Fossil Ridge.

Dorris said the team will walk out with the teen's jersey, then on the first offensive snap, only have 10 players on the field instead of 11. It's something both head coaches agreed on.

They'll then take a knee for a delay of game using the ball Schwantz practiced with the night before his death with his brother.

The coach said after that, they'll give the ball to the family and continue on the game.

"I hope we can honor him the right way I hope that we can honor him the right way It's the first time I've ever been to a game that really could care less about what's on the scoreboard at the end I just want our kids to have the opportunity to heal, to have fun and to honor their teammate, "said Dorris.

He said he continues to try and be there for his players as they go through this.

"I wish I had all the right answers for them, but what I'm telling them is it's okay to grieve, it's okay mourn," said Dorris. "We've talked about It, it's okay tonight to go out and play a game you love and hopefully escape that grieving and mourning for a moment."

For now, they're trying their best to find comfort in the memories.

"Oh, he's just a great kid. He was my teacher's aide, he helped me do laundry somehow missing helping me do laundry for sure," chuckled Dorris.

Dorris said there's a now a new standard to for the Azle Football Team.

"He got along with every single person in the locker room. He was a friend to the younger ones. The glue in the locker room that united the team. So from this day forward the standard of a teammate will be Jack Schwantz," he said.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, a single-engine Aeronca 7AC crashed just before 9 a.m. According to officials, the plane appeared to have crashed near 7649 Confederate Park Road.

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