By Jeff Todd
FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4)– It was a game both sides agreed to play, but you could feel the somber mood around the playoff game between Pomona and Poudre.
The game was played just hours after news came out that Poudre High School junior Joshua Cortez was killed in a car accident.
Cortez had just left a team dinner and was driving with his mother when the crash happened.
“The team decided they wanted to play because they thought that’s what their teammate would want,” said Danielle Clark with the Poudre School District.
Kelly and Joshua Cortez were driving south on Giddings Road in Northeast Fort Collins around 7:20 p.m. Thrusday. A car headed east on Richards Lake Road collided with the Cortez’s car.
Both Kelly and Joshua died at the scene. The two people in the other car, Connor Givans and David Muny, were transported to the hospital.
“It’s gut wrenching, it’s heartbreaking. Any time you lose a child or student, parents around the community I know their hearts just drop, our hearts and thoughts go out to this family,” Clark said.
“We’re just kind of torn up about it, you couldn’t get away from it. Sometimes on a Friday you try and get kids charged up about a game try to get them into the spirit of things. And once you hear that, our hearts are pretty heavy,” said Pomona Principal Andy Geise.
Poudre players had a “66” sticker on their helmets.
Pomona students made a sign that said “Poudre Strong.”
When both teams met at midfield for the coin toss, they both walked out holding up jerseys with the number 66.
The pregame included a moment of silence.
Poudre’s first playoff experience since 2008 came to an end, but the players shared a moment with their parents on the field after the game.
“Such a vibrant young man. Such a part of our community,” said Clark. “Everyone is talking about what a unifying voice he was, how wonderful he was, how dynamic, it’s so incredibly sad.”
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.