COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - January 10th ended like a normal night for Columbus High’s Tre Peterson and Jonathan Powell.
“We had talked the night before and we were all having a good time," Peterson said.
The next morning was anything but normal. Their usual wake-up call from their mother Denise Walker never came.
“I went into her room, and she was laying there. I thought she was still asleep," Peterson said. He then left for school believing everything was ok, until Powell woke up later that morning.
“It was like 8:10 and I was supposed to be at school and she didn’t wake me up. So, I thought something was wrong,” Powell said.
Powell went into her room, where he found their mother, dead of a heart issue at the age of 38. The first person he called was his brother, Tre.
“He told me, and at first I didn’t believe it, like bro this can’t be true," Peterson said.
A traumatic experience for both young men. They leaned on teammates, family, and most importantly each other to get through the tough times.
“Growing up, [Tre] was the only person I had," Powell said. "Him and my mom. Single parent, so it was like both of them raised me, he really raised me.”
She’s gone, but not forgotten. The brothers still put on a show for their mom every week.
“Whenever I do something on the field, good or bad, I know she’s there," Peterson said. "I could feel it almost like she’s right there with me.”
She dreamed of seeing her boys playing in the same backfield. They lived that dream once earlier this year. Late in the opening game against Spencer, Powell took the snap at quarterback, and Peterson stood behind him as the running back. Something their mom had always wanted to see had finally taken place.
“Pretty much a dream come true," Peterson said. "It was a thing that we wanted to do, and it was a thing that she wanted to see and it was like bro, we’ve got to make this happen.”
Even though she’s not physically in the stands, they know she’s still watching them play every Friday night.
“I use my mom as a source of motivation,” Peterson said. "It motivates me before every game so it just showed me that I’ve got to go out there and ball out.”
“We know she’s looking out for us so we’ve just got to make it happen," Powell said.