WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Saturday night, Midwestern State University Mustangs played their first football game since the loss of Robert Grays, who was seriously injured on the field and later died.
The passing of Grays came as a surprise for everyone at the school. "For all the people here, it came to us as a shock," Jhalen Sheffield said.
One of his close friends said she has felt empty since he passed away but everyone needs remain positive.
"Just like Rob was, everyone should just be happy and enjoy the day just spend time with the people you care about because you never know when you're going to lose them," Courtney Thompson said. Thompson has Grays' name and number tattooed on her arm.
"When he went down I thought that's someone's best friend, that's someone's child, someone's brother, cousin, it just made me feel like he was one of my family members," Khailia Griffin said.
The school honored Grays before the game began. As the players walked onto the field, a video tribute honoring number 24's life was shown.
Many players said they played with a heavy heart.
"The biggest thing was us to go back to normalcy and for us to preserve and basically remember what we are doing all this for is for him, number 24," Semaj Robinson, defensive end, said.
Many in the Mustang community said they adore Grays as much as his teammates did. Even those who did not personally know him recognized his face.
"One thing you can remember about him is his smile," Griffin said.
MSU has proven to be just that a family. The fans wore a 24 strong shirt, designed by the players, and held the number two on the left hand and the number four on the right during a kickoff.
"It's wonderful because it shows that we are a family in a small community and it was just like amazing so many people can come together," Griffin said.
"We all decided today to come together and keep his memory alive," said Jhalen Sheffield said.
All the proceeds for the 24 shirts will go to the Grays family.
If you would like to donate, you can find more information here.