EVANS, GEORGIA – A Greenbrier High School star athlete, gone too soon, was honored at a vigil on Tuesday night.
A day of fun at the lake turned into a day that Greenbrier High School will never forget. One of their classmates gone forever after he drowned on Sunday. On Tuesday night, his classmates, his teammates, and those who just wanted to show their support showed up at the football stadium to honor the life of Robert Ballard, Jr.
Robert Ballard’s girlfriend was with him moments before he took his last breath. On Tuesday holding flowers surrounded by family and friends Selina Seard tried her hardest to remember Ballard during the happy moments they shared together in their four months as a couple.
“He always tried to make people laugh and didn’t want to be serious about a lot of stuff… and when he was serious he wasn’t serious,” Seard told WJBF News Channel 6.
In a vigil organized by his parents the Wolfpack gathered to celebrate number 29. The life he lived and his lasting legacy that will forever live among the halls of Greenbrier High School.
“We all feel they should retire his jersey. Like there’s other retired jerseys in there and he’s lived up to the legacy everyone else has,” said track and football teammate Elijah Lopez.
His track and football teammate says this week has been surreal, but Lopez like the rest of the Wolfpack has found strength in numbers knowing only together they can get through this tragedy.
“I just feel when we do this… I feel like he is still going to be there watching us and he knows he doesn’t want this to happen, but he just knows that we all really miss him and truly can’t let him go.” Lopez told WJBF News Channel 6.
Green and gold balloons filled the football stadium in honor of the star athlete. Lopez tells News Channel 6 he knows Ballard’s spirit was among the Wolfpack during the vigil.
It was a night of tears and sadness of a life ended too soon.
“Cherish your brothers and sisters. Don’t fight. If I could take back every fight that I had with my brother I would take it back. I love my brother,” said Robert Ballard, Jr.’s sister.
Members of Robert Ballard’s family from New Jersey were at Tuesday night’s vigil.
They are making plans to have his funeral in his hometown in New Jersey next week.