MSU football team honors Robert Grays

MSU football team honors Robert Grays

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - The Midwestern State University football team will take the field Saturday night for the first time since the loss of their teammate Robert Grays.

The 19-year-old cornerback who was seriously injured on the field and later died at the Mustang's last game.

As the team hit the turf for one last practice, they proved their bond goes further than the football field.

Grays teammates are doing what they can to make sure his legacy not only lives on, on the field but that '24 Strong' is a message shared throughout the entire city of Wichita Falls.

Brandon Sampson, wide receiver for the Mustangs and some of his teammates came up with the idea of selling Robert Grays' T-shirts.

"We just wanted to see how many people did he actually touch within the community and the school," said Sampson. "So, I just think these shirts are a positive way just to show how many people actually were affected by this young man's life."

Sampson said he wants to show Grays his appreciation for him and thank him for being apart of his life. He is not the only one who Grays impacted.

Genice Washington, MSU Athletic Trainer, had a math class with Grays.

"He was a really really nice person," said Washington. "You can't find too many people like that, whenever you saw him he was just love."

She said he was always smiling. A smile many say they will never forget.

"He played cornerback so I competed against him every single day, and every single time that he lined up in front of me there was a smile on his face," said DJ Myers, MSU wide receiver. "We loved going against each other, and it is something I definitely miss."

Others like Nathaniel Nicolas, MSU defensive line player, said Grays was like a little brother to them, and this brotherhood continues to stay strong for each other.

"We really came together as a family," said Myers. "We were already so much of a family, but we realized we are all we have and we are all we need."

They say now they are playing for a bigger purpose than themselves and add Grays will be with them in spirit.

"Every game is for him," said Nicolas. "When I get a sack I'm throwing up 24 for him."

The Mustangs said the tribute for Grays planned for Saturday night's game is all about honoring his life.

"It will just be another celebration of his life," said Myers. Every day is a celebration of his life. There's no mourning around here because that is what he'd want."

Bill Maskill, MSU Head Coach, said he is proud of how his team has handled this difficult situation.

"Well I think they've done a really good job," said Coach Maskill. "We're a very young football team and watching them mature through this and the way it's played out, it's really brought our team a lot closer."

All the proceeds from the shirts sold will go to Grays' family. The remaining shirts will be sold at Saturday night's game.

The community is being asked to come out to the game to honor Grays too. Fans are also being asked to use their hands to show the number 24 for each kickoff.

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