AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)- It’s an emotional game for the Academy of Richmond County (ARC) football team as players honor the life of Se’vonn Small

“For one just knowing that our connection is strong whether it’s in the physically spiritual what ever it is connection is connection so we wanted to make sure that Se’vonn understands that though he’s gone from us in the flesh he stills dwells with us in the spirit for sure so that’s the biggest part of that balloon release,” said head coach Keenan Grissett.

As the number 43 sit at the end zone … family , friends, and teammates release purple and gold balloons during Thursday’s JV game to honor Se’vonn small.

Small was a 16-year-old football player for ARC who lost his life Monday after swimming in a lake at Pointes West Army resort. The team’s head coach says he loved the sport.

“Inquisitive, Se’vonn was a kid that always wanted to know he wanted to be coached he wanted to be criticized constructively he wasn’t the guy that needed the pats on the back he wanted to know how can I get better,” said Grissett.

He was not only a team player but a friend to many.

“One thing I think he did was take some guys that might have been struggling to find some social ground especially as a freshman early on and he kind of connected with those guys,” said Grissett.

And although it make take some time to get used to for the team. …Small will be remembered forever.

“I think I was put here for that reason to be a bed rock to be a sturdy set to try and waver us through this storm right now I won’t tell you it’s easy it’s tasking but nothing I’d rather do than support that mom and dad and family over there because right now they need it way more than myself or anybody else – so we’re definitely going to be that for them,” said Grissett.

The head coach says this may be a heavy lost for the team but they will continue to keep Small’s memory alive.

A GoFundMe account has been organized to help with medical bills nd funeral expenses. Click here to donate.