WICHITA FALLS, TX (RNN Texoma) - One year later the memory of a Midwestern State University football player who died following injuries during a game continues to live strong.
“Grays was one of those guys that if he was hurt and stayed down he was actually hurt," said Freddie Banks, the defensive backs coach. “He never really stayed down so you knew something was up.”
For the Midwestern State University football team, it feels like it was just yesterday when the 19-year-old sophomore, Robert Grays died after being seriously injured on the field. It happened during a weekend game against Texas A&M Kingsville following a tackle.
“I just busted out crying,” said Sirvell Ford, the senior safety. “I’ve never cried like that before. It felt like a family member of mine just died because like I said he was like a little brother to me.”
In a Facebook post, the director of athletics Kyle Williams said Robert Grays was known for his energetic spirit, kindness, bright smile and love of his teammates.
He went on saying they continue to remember and honor his legacy.
It’s that legacy that has the MSU Texas athletic department honoring Grays in a number of ways.
"Number one, his locker," said Banks. "Nobody is in his locker. We've got a memorial here so this is still Robert Grays locker."
Last year MSU also retired his jersey, number 24 and created a Robert T. Grays memorial scholarship.
All this week, the athletic department is keeping his spirit of joy alive throughout the community by performing 24 acts of kindness around Wichita Falls.
“I feel like if he was here he would be happy about it and be like oh yeah this is what I like to see, and smiling of course and having his fun moments and everything so I feel like he would be very happy with it,” said Sirvell.
On Wednesday at 5:45p.m. many gathered at the MSU practice field to honor Robert Grays with 24 push ups and a moment of silence.
The fans left the stands and joins the players on the practice field.