FAIRFIELD, Calif. (KTXL) – For some, it may seem like the traditional Friday night under the lights in Fairfield.
But for Vanden High School football players, coaches, families and the Fairfield community, Friday’s game is for a 17-year-old who was shot Easter Sunday.
“He is so much more than an athlete,” said Coach Mark Null.
Daniel Hughes, a star football player at Vanden, was on the minds of everyone at the game between Vanden and Armijo.
“If anyone who has been around him, know that if they can raise their son to be someone like Daniel then they are off to the right start,” Null said.
Null has coached Hughes in both basketball and football since Hughes was 4 years old. He adds Hughes is a great athlete but an even better person.
“As a team to coming out here and continuing to play the game in his honor, it’s something that he would do, he would want to be done,” Null told FOX40.
Hughes’ jersey number nine was on display everywhere Friday at the game, with his jersey on the field.
Coach and teammates donned his number. Vanden also started the game with only nine players, Hughes’ jersey and families showing love with signs.
For a few moments, it wasn’t about the competition. The Armijo cheerleaders sent their support, while others asked everyone to join Hughes’ team.
“For everyone, the prayers, they are working. Believe me, they are working. You don’t have to know him to pray for him,” Null said. “Everyone pray. Tell everyone you know to pray, and we are all in the fight as a community to make sure he pulls through this.”
Earlier this week, Hughes’ parents said he had 24 hours to live, but Hughes’ junior high football Coach Demetrius Crawford told FOX40 that Hughes is still hanging in there.
The family asks people still pray for Hughes to make it through.