O'FALLON, Mo. — Midway through the season for the Ft. Zumwalt West Jaguars, tragedy struck for one player. Gage Froneyberger would lose his father, Brian Froneyberger to cancer.
"You could visibly see him start to wither away almost, it hit very hard," Gage's best friend, Geo Houston said.
Head coach, Neil Nowack said Froneyberger was a big part of their Friday night lights at West, and also played a pivotal in role in helping mentor some members on the Jaguars team.
"He's always there for you, he's really selfless, he's the type of guy that will drop anything to make sure that you're alright," Houston said.
To show his lover and support for his second family, Houston spear headed a campaign, designing t-shirts with the words, "Together we fight" on them to help raise money for medical bills.
"It was a surprise for him and one day brought him home after school and showed him the t-shirts and was really emotional," Houston said.
But the work didn't stop there, after Froneyberger passed, the team took to the field on a Friday night during the Freshman and Sophomore homecoming dance to honor the 46 wonderful years of a great man.
"At 7 p.m. on Friday we kicked the lights on for 46 minutes to honor him, our players were here, there were a lot of people from the community, they sat down around the W and actually formed a heart and it was a really cool scene," Nowack said.
That night Gage and his girlfriend were named homecoming king and queen and the following day, the Froneyberger family was presented with the game ball after a 35-7 win over Holt.