It's a tough night for players, fans and families of the Wesleyan Christian School football team.
This Friday night is the Mustangs first home game since varsity team captain Ben Hamm died. He was seriously injured two weeks ago. Students said they want to win the game and they want to honor Ben while they do it.
Twenty-eight isn't a typical yard line highlighted on the football field, but tonight it is, in honor of Hamm's jersey number 28. "This has rocked us to the core from every age group," said Wesleyan Elementary School Principal Stephanie Frederick.
The tight-knit school family prayed as Hamm fought through his injury and is still praying now that he has passed away. "Right now, it's hard for everyone still," said Hamm's friend Sydney Frederick. "But we're at the point where all of our memories of him are good so we can't help but smile."
Before the home game against Welch High school, balloons were released by Hamm's teammates and a specially made steel jersey was unveiled before a moment of silence was observed to wish their fallen Mustang farewell.
Kedrick Nettleton graduated last year but has remained close to Hamm. "I promised him that I would come back and watch a football game,” stated Nettleton. “Obviously, I hoped I would get to watch him play, but I just really wanted to come back and help honor who he was [and] what he was all about."
Many of his friends say although he is missing the game, he's in Heaven playing a game of his own. "We said he's probably up there teaching all the kids how to play football so he'll have a team ready when we get there," Sydney added.
They say in sad moments like this it's encouraging to see support coming from the youngest of people to the oldest. "This is not the end for us, Ben was an incredible man of God so we know we will see him again one day," said Stephanie.
His funeral is scheduled for Saturday, and on Sunday there will be a fundraiser at the church. The money will go to the Hamm family.
In addition to that, a fund for the family has been set up at the Arvest Bank in Bartlesville.