Gilmer (KETK) — The Gilmer Buckeyes this fall will play with heavy hearts.
Desmond Pollard died earlier this year.
He was the leading receiver for the team last year and no one will wear his uniform number this year.
"Our kids have really had to grow up fast," said Gilmer coach Jeff Traylor. "That was their best friend and he's gone."
"It's brought a sense of maturity to them," Traylor added. "They don't take anything for granted."
Pollard will be remembered this season.
His name and his uniform number will be a big part of Gilmer's upcoming season.
"Our motto is going to be the word designate," Traylor told KETK. "Des will be highlighted and the 8 will be highlighted."
"We're going to keep him in our minds," Traylor added. "We always do."
"We made a promise to each other that we're going to try and live our lives so that Des would be proud of us,"Traylor said. "We're trying to do that the best we can."