Of all the tributes paid at the funeral for Brian Colvin on Wednesday, one simple act stood out.
Seniors on the Lewisville High School football team walked to Colvin's parents, seated at the front of a packed church hall. They presented a football signed by each player - the same ball Colvin carried on his final play.
Colvin, a three-sport athlete and standout running back for the Lions, collapsed during a football scrimmage Friday night in Chester. A cause has not been released in the 18-year-old senior's death, but relatives have said the family has a history of heart trouble that might have been a factor.
The gesture brought tears among nearly 600 family members, coaches and Lewisville High students, who came to the funeral at Edgemoor ARP Church after their first day of school.
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While teammates donned game jerseys, cheerleaders wore small photos of Catherine Fowler pinned to their uniforms. Fowler, a 15-year-old Lewisville High cheerleader and softball player, was killed Aug. 7 in a two-car collision near Great Falls.
"We are in a state of real shock and grief," Lewisville High Principal Jim Knox said.
The Chester County school postponed its season-opening football game against York, originally scheduled for Friday night. Counselors were on hand when the school's 420 students returned for classes Wednesday.
Shy and unassuming in the hallways, Colvin turned confident when it was time for football, said retired Lewisville coach Floyd Drum.
Fighting back tears, the coach described Colvin as one of his most gifted athletes. The teen worked hard to improve his grades and wanted to become the first in his family to attend college.
But one more football season awaited.
"If God would let me coach when I get up there," Drum said, "Brian would be my tailback."
Want to help?
A Brian Colvin memorial fund has been set up through First Citizens Bank, 3551 Lancaster Highway, Richburg, SC 29729.
Donations also can be dropped off at the Country Omelet restaurant, 3038 Lancaster Highway in Richburg.