(SAINT JOSEPH, Mo.) Students and families of Bishop LeBlond High School gathered in mourning this past weekend over the passing of alumnus Cole Patrick.
This same weekend, the school hosted its annual holiday basketball tournament, where the Eagles literally wore their emotions on their sleeves.
"Our team's really close to the family," senior basketball player Grant Gillespie said. "When someone on the team gets hurt, we get hurt with them. Everyone knew Cole on our team and it's just a really big tragedy. We just wanted to do something to show respect."
"We just asked Coach Kastner if we could do something for him because he's part of the family at Bishop LeBlond," junior Matthew McCullough said. "We put black tape on our socks and black bands on our wrists. On our socks, we put 'RIP CP'. It's just something to show respect to him."
A 2012 graduate of the high school, Cole is well-known and well-liked by many still at LeBond, as he left an impression worthy of paying tribute to.
"All smiles all the time. I never knew anybody that didn't like him. He was just a great guy to be around, always having fun. Just an awesome person. You have that loss, and he's part of the family, part of the crowd."
Athletes took to social media as well to pay homage to their friend as well, saying things such as: "For the Patrick family," and "Tonight, we play for Cole."
It became a goal for the boys and girls to play in his memory as both teams reached the championship game.
"We're just using it as motivation, and trying to look past it a little bit," Gillespie said. "We want to win for him."
Despite heavy hearts, Grace Gym was filled with cheers with the success of the student athletes this weekend as the girls captured the tournament title, while the boys finished runner-up.
For the briefest of moments, their was joy felt at Bishop LeBlond.
Similar to the joy that Cole brought to so many.
"We came together yesterday and we wanted to play for him," McCullough said. "To have this tragic thing happen in the middle of it, it kind of slowed everything down. Last night, I think people didn't think about it for a while, maybe made people happy for a little bit. The tournament's definitely for him and his family."