Football players escort fallen teammate to field one last time

Eighteen-year-old Malik Sparkman lost his fight against kidney cancer last week.

But before the south Georgia teen died he said he wanted to go through the tunnel at Coffee County High School, into the stadium with his teammates one final time. 

So his teammates carried his coffin across the field to the end zone. The touching story has already reached millions of people on social media

More than 500 friends and family members showed up to say goodbye to Malik.

According to the Coffee County Police Scanner Facebook page, where photos of the tribute originated, teammates held their heads high until a video of their friend played, then they could not hold back their tears.

The standout linebacker for the Coffee County Trojans was diagnosed with kidney cancer last year.

Late Wednesday afternoon, WSB-TV's  Jovita Moore spoke with Malik's girlfriend about his tough fight.

"He always said he wasn't ever gonna give up and God has him,” said Tia Williams. “He was a fighter."

Williams told Moore on WSB-TV that she first met Malik in sixth grade. She said he had a strong support system around him, from the school, the community and his fellow football players. 

"They're hanging in there as a team. It brought their team closer. They're strong,” Williams said. “They did take it hard at the funeral, but they know he's not suffering anymore."

Williams also says the last few days have been hard, but that Malik is now in a better place and free from pain.

"I know he's proud of me,” she said. “I’ve got a great angel watching over me."

Sparkman would have graduated next year and was already being recruited by Florida State.

The Coffee County High School football team says it is planning a way to honor their teammate during next football season.  

Jovita shared this story on her Facebook page and more than 10 million people have seen it. We invite you to leave your messages of support for Malik and the team. 

Source: WSB-TV

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