ST.PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – On a Friday night, during a football game against Osceola High School, Jacquez Welch collapsed. The Northeast High School standout never recovered.
On Monday, hundreds of teammates and friends filled First Baptist Church in St. Petersburg to say their final farewell.
Northeast High’s Head Football Coach remembered meeting Welch for the first time when he was a rising middle school student who was just hoping to make the team.
“He outworked everybody else to ensure that he was going to find success,” said Coach Jeremey Frioud.
The coach says Welch worked hard on and off the field.
“He had outstanding grades here at the end because he worked. He went beyond extra work. We require the kids to go to tutors when they have bad grades. Jaquez had all “A’s” at one point and was going to tutoring anyways,” said Frioud.
According to his mother, Jacquez had a congenital condition known as AVM which he likely had since birth that led to his passing. Welch’s mother says his death had nothing to do with his play on the football field.
Reverend Benjamin Adams says his short life will be remembered by all who knew him.
“It hurts of course, but not only does it hurt. It offers hope and he became, even in death Jaquez became an example, he became a give,” said Adams.