COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Gone, but never forgotten.
Wrestlers at Carver High School in Columbus honored the memory of one of their former teammates before a match against Central High School on Thursday night.
It will be three years next month since Adrian Rodgers died suddenly.
Rodgers was a freshman at Carver when he died and would have graduated with many of the boys on the team this school year. His wrestling teammates wanted to make sure that his memory continues to lives on.
"He was the first wrestler on our team to win our first match," said senior Brooks Alfred.
The teen collapsed during a wrestling practice in January 2013. Since then, the school has dedicated the wrestling room in his memory.
Now, during their first senior night before a match, where many of the students were recognized for achievements and accomplishments, the Carver team held a moment of silence and presented a certificate to his family in memory of Rodgers. Both his parents and his little sister were present.
"This is something I think he would have wanted for all of us not just for me and his father and our family, but the Carver family as well," said his mother Dollie Rodgers.
Adrian's father Cedric Lee say the love of wrestling was something that brought him and his son closer together. The recognition was also a surprise for his parents.
"It's a good thing you know and I appreciate them for taking a moment of silence just to remember. It's hard. We are still going through the emotions of our loss but just to know that there are people that are thinking of him just as much as we are. I appreciate Carver High School for doing what they are doing and I support them in everything," Cedric said.
Former teammate Alfred is still coping with the loss of his friend.
"He was always high-spirited. He never saw the bad side of things. Like he would lose and he would ready to go practice again," said Alfred.
The Carver wrestling team says they're going to dedicate every match this season to Adrian Rodgers. His wrestling shoes will be retired and displayed in the foyer at Carver High School.