INVERNESS, Fla — A community in Citrus County joined as one on Saturday to celebrate and remember the life of Antonio Hicks.
Hicks died on Sept. 28 after collapsing during football practice. He was 16-years-old.
Family, friends and loved ones sang, shared memories, and talked about the impact Hicks had in their lives. His funeral was held at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Inverness, Fla.
Hicks' parents Lakesha Harrison and Henry Hicks expressed gratitude over the number of people in attendance.
"I truly appreciate everybody. I love everybody for all the support for taking my baby under your wings," Harrison said.
To strangers, Hicks was a football star who died too soon. But to those who knew him, he was someone who inspired others.
"As a coach, we focus on changing lives, but after each season or tragic event, we realize the kids change us more than we change them," R.J. Pollard of Citrus High School said.
"Antonio, you will forever be in our hearts. I love you and we'll see you again in the sweet by and by," McKinley Franklin, Citrus High School head football coach, said.
At this time, Hicks' cause of death has not been released.