WICHITA FALLS, TX (TNN) -
It’s been almost three months since the death of Wichita Falls High School senior YaJaira Garcia.
Now, friends and teammates remember her as the Lady Coyotes soccer team continues on without her.
“Her smile," Head coach Robert Woodard said. “Her laughter and if you met her, you would remember her.”
Garcia had been a member of the Lady Coyote soccer program for three years and was prepared to be a manger for the varsity team this year.
As members of the team deal with the loss, Garcia’s radiance sticks with them.
“Her laugh,” Garcia’s best friend Eivanna Morales said. “It was like, she was a small person but her laugh was crazy.”
“Because nobody has her attitude," best friend Ciclaly Moreno said. "Her attitude was always so positive.”
It's that positivity and joy her friends are struggling to find.
“My mom and everyone always tells me,” Moreno said. ‘Why don’t you go out anymore, why don’t you dess up.’ This is the first time in a while that I have done my makeup or dressed up or anything.
“But without her, everything is so different. Everything for me ended. Not everything but the people around me, I isolated my self from the everyone.”
But, in this time of grieving, Woodard says her best friends have been an inspiration to him.
“The first time that I saw them on Monday when we got back," coach Woodard said. “Seeing them that day was the hardest day of my life. Seeing them now, continuing to live and continuing to laugh and smile and cry and do all that. I just see them, I see a lot of rose petal in all of them.”
Rose Petal was the nickname Woodard had for Garcia.
Because of that, the Lady Coyotes wear a yellow rose on their jerseys as a way to remember her on the field.
Off the field, her friends want to fulfill her dream in their own lives.
“I probably don’t want to same career as her," Moreno said. "But I am still going to complete my career too and I am going to try my best in everything, what she wanted but in my life.”
Like roses, the Lady Coyotes continue to grow
Her teammates will continue to miss her on and off the field and Coach Woodard says he will give an award at the end of the season in her honor.