SAN ANGELO, Texas — It's every child's dream to finish their high school career with their two biggest cheerleaders by their sides: mom and dad.
For Tyeson Smith, a senior fullback and linebacker at San Angelo Texas Leadership Charter Academy, he carries his dad in his heart and his mom has been right there by his side supporting him through it all.
Tyeson's dad, Chad Smith, died in 2012. Although Tyeson is left with memories, he didn't hesitate to bring his father along with him throughout his life's journey. During his last season, Smith honored his dad by wearing the same number 80 football jersey his dad wore in high school.
On Sunday, Tyeson took the Lake View Stadium field one more time to take his senior pictures. This time, Smith was surrounded by all of his dad's former teammates from San Angelo Lake View High School.
"It's something I will never be able to live down or forget. Getting to wear his jersey on the same fields that he played on is unforgettable. Having these guys here getting to cap out my football season, my football career with the same people that he ended his with, it's awesome truly awesome," Tyeson said.
His mom, Amber Pennington, reached out to many of Chad's former Chiefs teammates to see if they could come be a part of such a memorable moment. When many agreed, Pennington knew this would be a day Tyeson would never forget.
"Not only does it bring back Chad, but it brings back a really special time even in my life being in high school with these guys and growing up with them and getting to see how we've all changed in the last 20 years. For them to be here to share this moment with Tyeson, its epic," Pennington said.
Head football coach Matt Jones came out to support Tyeson during his photo shoot and also reflects on how big he knew this season would be for him.
"I could tell from the very beginning of the season that it was meaning something extra to him this year. He kept bringing it up and I think our first game of the season was a big one for him. Tyeson's a tough kid, nobody is going to outwork him you're always going to be able to tell that he's ready to play ball," Jones said.
Paying tribute to his father during his last season is a memory for which Tyeson Smith will be forever grateful.