A Friday night football games served as the first of what will be many events honoring William Mootz.
Hundreds turned out for a scrimmage at Green Valley High School. Students and friends are just beginning to come to grips with the death of the teen who would have started his senior year on Monday.
Mootz wasn't a football player, he was a wrestler, and those who knew him said he was a wonderful classmate and friend.
Mootz's initials, WCM, were proudly displayed on the helmets of many members of Green Valley High School's football team. Players dedicated the game against Foothill High School to him.
"We've known Will for years," said Tracy Russo, who, along with her teenage son, participated in the search for Mootz.
William Mootz's body was discovered Friday morning in a wetlands area near Sam Boyd Stadium. He had slipped and fallen into Pittman Wash during Wednesday's torrential rainstorm.
"His mom came up with the idea of getting some shirts and we decorated them. I just can't believe it," said Devon Demota, a friend to William Mootz.
"It's what they say – the good die young. (He was) totally a good kid," Russo said.
Mootz's friends feel the same way. Classmate Mason Elario recalled the first time Mootz introduced himself.
"He was like, ‘How are you doing?' And I was like, ‘I'm good. My name is Mason.' And he was like, ‘My name is William,'' Elario said.
"He was the kind of kid that everyone wanted to be around and he was super fun and super bright," classmate Tierro Elario recalled.
The student body must now find a way to cope, starting a school year without William Mootz's positive persona.
"How do we start the first day?" asked Tierro Elario.
The Clark County School District said it will have grief counselors available when classes start Monday morning. A candlelight vigil for Mootz will take place at Green Valley High School on Saturday beginning at 8 p.m.
Copyright 2012 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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