EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — What has been an extremely emotional week for the Eastwood High School community will come to a painful culmination on Monday when 2019 Trooper graduate and standout wide receiver Eddie Cruz is laid to rest.
Cruz, 18, died in a tragic drowning accident at Bill Evans Lake north of Silver City on Labor Day. The death of Cruz, who was a leader and friend to all players on the current Eastwood squad, shook the team to its core just days before they embarked on a trip for the biggest game in the state of Texas on Thursday.
Cruz was scheduled to play his first game as a Mustang for the University of Western New Mexico Saturday, he never had the chance to play.
The family will host a visitation beginning at 4 p.m. Sunday evening at Crestview Funeral Home located at 1462 N. Zaragoza Rd. A prayer service is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Monday, a funeral service will be held for Cruz at 10 a.m. at Crestview Funeral home followed by interment at Mt. Carmel Cemetery.
Eastwood’s Coach Julio Lopez is expected to be one of many in attendance at Cruz’s service. Lopez led the Troopers to Frisco this week to Plano Senior High School where they honored Cruz by placing his number three jersey at centerfield at the Dallas Star before draping it over their team bench.
Eastwood fell 28-42 to Plano Senior High, but it wasn’t for a lack of passion and grit. At the end of the night, as the players solemnly approached the Trooper Band after their loss Thursday, they all held up three fingers in honor of Cruz while the band played the fight song and the Trooperettes and cheer team joined in the number three salute.
Eddie Cruz is survived by his father, Howard Lewis, and mother, Maria Isabel Lewis. Sisters Aylina Rocha, Elyse Cruz, Tiana Lewis, and Tarese Lewis. He is also survived by grandparents Francisco Rocha, Maria Isabel Lopez, Howard Lewis Sr., and Teresa Lewis.