Youth football team honors fallen coach with vigil

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)-The South East T-birds youth football team held a vigil Tuesday evening to honor fallen coach Joseph Gomez who was killed in a car crash Sunday night by an alleged drunk driver.

Players, friends and loved ones filled Vista Del Villa park in East El Paso where the South East T-Birds normally practice, only this time was to say goodbye to their coach.

“He was good he would make us work hard to make sure we were doing our job the best we could,” Arturo, a youth team member, said.

Joseph Gomez volunteered for the South East T-Birds on top of serving a career as a corrections officer for the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office. Gomez coached the youth program ages five through seven.

“He was like the best coach I had ever seen in my life the best football coach, like, in my heart,” youth team member Titus said.

Through prayers and releasing white balloons, teammates joined the Gomez family to wish them love as they mourned the loss as one family through football, sending their coach one final message.

“I would tell Coach that I would thank him for helping me doing my job that I would have today,” Arturo said.

Coach Gomez’s father, Joe Gomez Sr., also served as a football coach and Joseph Gomez’s son also played on the team. Gomez Sr. recognized the love of football and coaching through all three generations of the family.

“He started at a young age coaching with me and his dream was to coach his son and he did,” Gomez Sr. said.

Although the youngest Gomez knows his father is no longer here, his grandfather said coach left him with a lifelong message.

“To be the man and warrior his dad was, his dad they played the same position and he took lots of pride in doing what he did,” Gomez Sr. said.

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