HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Hundreds filed in to the Mills Godwin High School football stadium Wednesday, not for a game, but to tell stories and remember the life of a classmate.
Tyler Wentz’s family, friends and classmates all expected to see him on the field Friday, but the Mills Godwin sophomore died after a surfing accident at Bald Head Island, North Carolina.
He had been vacationing with his best friend Schuyler Purdy.
"The support everyone has shown is incredible,” said Purdy, who said in his few short years on earth, Tyler would always light up the room.
Candles carried by his classmates did the job while they reminisced about their friend.
"All Tyler wanted to do was help people,” Purdy said. “I think he had a positive impact on everyone's life he touched. If you knew him, be grateful. You were blessed because he was a great person.”
Some stood to tell stories, while others sat in silence to reflect. All were there to honor a teen who touched their lives.
Wentz was the team punter on the football team and his teammates said they will dedicate this season to Tyler.
They said they will always remember "the punting incident" from a practice.
"He got a good snap and went to punt it and kicked a guy in the back of the head,” said Bardia Jahangiri, who plays defensive tackle. “He didn't get upset. He just worked harder to get better and he just kept punting."
Tyler Wertz was also a youth baseball coach and umpire. He loved kids according to his friends.
A Celebration of Life is also planned for this Saturday starting at 7 p.m. on the Tuckahoe Little League field.