Friends honor slain Durant HS football player

Hillsborough County

PLANT CITY, Fla. (WFLA) – The shocking death of a Durant high school student and football player Sunday night is still not even a reality for his friends and family. But as they try and process the pain, they gathered on the football field  Wednesday to remember Grover Wills – ‘number five.’

One by one and wearing their “Fly high number 5” shirts, they solemnly walked with heads bowed and a carnation in hand.

Their beloved football field is now a place where they’ll always miss a friend and teammate.

Durant’s football coach, Michael Gottman, was part of the vigil for the 18-year-old.

“I enjoyed his happy-go-lucky personality, he always had a smile on his face. He loved to laugh. He loved to cut-up,” said Coach Gottman. “We’re going to frame his football jersey, number five, and place it in the field house and it will stay there forever.”

RELATED: Durant HS football player shot to death in Brandon

Also in honor of the young man who proudly wore the number five on his chest, his teammates gave their white carnations to Wills’ family members. All of them understandably sad but touched by the vigil.

As the sun set on Durant’s football field, there was a ceremonial five minute walk ending in a special gathering at center field with the number 5 lit up in luminaries.

Then one single luminaire was released and lifted off into the night air.

Grover Wills, 18, was set to graduate from Durant High School next month, according to family members. Wills was shot on Sunday, April 15, at a Brandon gas station.

Homicide detectives do not think this was a random shooting. They think  Wills may have known his killer and the shooting was drug-related.

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