ABILENE, Texas - The McMurry WarHawks held their first open practice Thursday afternoon and the absence of one of their teammates weighed heavily on them. Billy Cole III was killed in a car crash on Tuesday.
His best friends spoke about him and what he meant to them and their team.
Wide receiver David McHugh was one of Cole's closest friends. He knew him from the start of training camp his freshmen year, and in honor of Cole, McHugh wore his teammate's old jersey. Number 46.
"Times like these are hard. It's hard around here for me, for all my friends and just for people that were around him," McHugh said.
McHugh has a brother, Mathew McHugh and they both met Cole during freshmen training camp. They created a bond that will never be broken.
"I love billy with all my heart and I love his family. I will never, I promise you I will never forget the things he did for me and I'll never forget his family," Mathew McHough said.
Cole's coach Lance Hinson feels the whole campus mourns this loss, "It's devastating. Not just as a teammate but for what he meant to this program and this university," said Hinson.
Teammates and friends described Cole as humble and selfless -- he would want the team to push forward.
"We are taking it hard as a team right now, but he [Cole] wouldn't want us too,"said David McHough.