EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Friends, family and faculty from Bowie High School gathered in the Jefferson High School parking lot Saturday night, Sept. 9 to host a vigil for Daniel Esparza, the Bowie High School student and band member who collapsed during the school’s football game Friday against Ysleta.

Several in attendance offered prayers and words of positivity that Esparza would recover. Jorge Curiel Jr. is a teacher at Bowie and said the strength of their community is unmatched.

“You know we are one family. We are here to help one another despite of any situation. We’re here for each other, for our triumphs, just as much as though as we are here for our lows and we’re here, like I said, together for spiritual unity,” Curiel Jr. said.

Remi Urrutia has been friends with Esparza for years and became close with him during their time in ROTC and in band. As someone who witnessed Esparza collapse, she felt that it was important for her to attend the vigil as a way to show support.

“It just makes me feel at ease because it’s a lot of people I know. It’s a lot of people who were there and just being together with them. It just really helps me. It makes my emotions kind of go away because I know that there here,” Urrutia said.

With unwavering support from Esparza’s friends and family, Urrutia said she had a message for Daniel that she can hopefully tell to him soon.

“Daniel, I know that I love you and I hope you’ll feel better because this is worrying me a lot and because I love you like a brother and seeing you like that broke me a little because I knew I couldn’t help you, because everyone was screaming but I know I helped you the best I could,” Urrutia said.

Esparza remains in critical condition at University Medical Center. There is a GoFundMe in place for the Esparza family to assist them during this time.