Augusta, GA. (WJBF)-The Greenbrier Wolfpack took the field for their first football game of the season. A game dedicated to one of their own senior football players Robert Ballard. An exceptional student Athlete on and off the field. Ballard died earlier this year after drowning at Lake Springs in Appling Ga. During the game he was honored by students, teammates, and an entire community. His mom Lakeya Collins says anything Robert did he was going to do it with perfection.
“He didn’t care if the team was losing if they were down by 70 or if they were down by 5 robert was going to play as if he was winning. He was going to win that was Robert in the classroom in the football field and in life.” Collins added.
Because of his determination his mom was able to take the field at Greenbrier High for the first time since her son passed away.
Greenbrier Head Football Coach Tony Kramer says they just want their efforts on the field to honor his legacy.
“We’ve been preparing for this game for months now, I feel good our kids are ready to play it’s a special night to honor a special young man. We just hope our playing our effort honors his name.” Kramer said.
Coach Tony Kramer says he impacted lives on and off the field.
“I think his life brought the Greenbrier community together and that legacy is more than enough.” Kramer said.
Students filled the stands wearing all red for red out for Robert with love. His Friends and staff of greenbrier reflect on their favorite memories of Robert:
“it’s a great honor to even know him as a friend and to cheer for him i cant even put it into words.” Makayla Gore said.
Jordan Adams also a senior on the football team says, “He was a great teammate a great brother a great son just someone great to be around everyday.” Adams said.
Greenbrier Principal Chris Seagraves says although he didn’t know Robert personally he was happy to honor him. “I don’t know why things like that happen but there’s a reason for it and I believe he’s waiting for us when we all transition over so im looking forward to meeting him someday.”
They honored Robert by retiring his jersey before the game. He wore the #29 and his mom hopes his little brother can carry on his legacy on the field. He even gave the honorary coin toss in his honor.
“Football was something he lived for he literally lived for football and I will not stop coming to these games I’ll be here every Friday evening as if Robert is out there still playing.” Collins said.
Just two weeks ago Collins spoke with a State Representatives to push for Roberts Law, a law that will put regulations on how far a person can swim in open waters. Although she was told it would be a long battle Collins says its one that will be worth it.