PARIS, Ill. (WTWO/WAWV)– Family and friends of Brody Sanders gathered at Paris High School on Sunday, to hold a ceremony honoring his life following his death in a car accident on Saturday.

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Creighton Tarr was Sanders’s baseball coach. He said he will remember Sanders’ competitive edge and the effect he had on his teammates.

“He always had a smile on his face,” Tarr said. “He was a kid with a bright future. He was a fierce competitor, especially when he was on the mound. He was a leader. He was one of those guys that everyone on the team got along with.”

Sanders’ father spoke to the crowd, as well as several other baseball coaches and school officials. Many of his teammates wore jerseys in his memory, and his mom was wearing his number four jersey. Many other students were wearing orange, the school’s colors, at the memorial.

Paris school counselor Staci Skelton said she hoped the event helped the family and students start the grieving process.

“What I have found is kids need each other. They need to spend time with each other. They need to see each other grieve and know that it’s okay to grieve. It just kind of gives them permission to feel whatever they’re feeling right now and I felt like this was the best way to make that happen,” she said.

Tarr said seeing the crowd helped ease the pain.

“Being here today and the support from the community. I know it means a lot to the family, to help grieve,” he said. “It makes me proud to be from Paris. The way these people support their own. It was just a special day.”

Skelton said she hopes the community can come together in the wake of the tragedy.

“This is a town of 8900 people, and to say that they take care of each other is absolutely an understatement,” she said. “it was really important for Brody’s family because they need to know, we know how much they love Brody but they need to know how much Paris loves Brody too.”

Skelton said the school will offer to counsel to those who need it.