Coaches, classmates reflect on slain Chaparral grad's life - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Coaches, classmates reflect on slain Chaparral grad's life

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Richard Nelson passed away on Jan. 14, 2017 after a deadly shooting. Richard Nelson passed away on Jan. 14, 2017 after a deadly shooting.
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Several students and coaches at Chaparral High School spent their day off from classes on Monday to remember a graduate who died in an apparent act of violence over the weekend.

Richard Nelson, 18, was shot multiple times when a fight broke out on Saturday night. Nelson's loved ones said he was protecting his sister during the melee.

A vigil was slated Monday at the Chaparral football. Instead, though, a memorial was made as his former classmates paid homage to the standout athlete.

"(He) helped me realize I can do anything too," said Chaparral student Zachary Daniels, who was a freshman when Nelson was a senior. To Daniels, Nelson was his inspiration for joining the wrestling team.

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From what was commonly expressed among mourners Monday, Nelson was remembered for what he brought out in others.

"Everyone who came in contact had a positive reaction with him, even if it was just for a minute," Chaparral basketball coach Steven Bentz remembered.

Bentz coached Richard for three years. Bentz admits to modeling his current players in Nelson's mold.

"He is a pillar of our program, and a guy we built our program off of," Bentz said.

"He was one of my favorites," said Richard Lewis, another of Nelson's coaches. "Not just because of this work ethic, but his spirit."

A scheduled basketball practice on Monday was replaced with a team-bonding meeting.

"'Life is not fair,' we've always told our players that," said Bentz. "We just hope it would have never come to this."

According to the coaches, players plan to wear patches on their jersey with Nelson's initials for the rest of the season. They also plan to ask future opposing teams to come together before the game and stand against violence.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to assist with funeral costs. If you would like to donate, click here

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