FLEMING COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Thousands of friends and family said their final goodbyes to a Fleming County teen today.
15-year-old Ricky Hamilton, Jr. died after investigators say he fell into a rock quarry after he got separated from his father while hunting.
His football teammates say Ricky, Jr. was more than just another player on the field.
"Ricky is a part of our family. He is going to be a brother with us. We are going to see each other five or ten years down the road, and we are still going to remember Ricky and what he made for us. He will always have a special place in our heart," said Heath Burnett, one of his football teammates.
For some it's still surreal that Ricky, Jr. won't be walking the halls at Fleming County High School on Monday or gearing up for another football game.
And now that one of their own is gone, Ricky, Jr.'s teammates say all they can do is show their respect.
"Fleming County comes together at times like this. And we will come together and we will be here for the family," said Desmond McAdams, another one of his football teammates.
Memories are what this team says will keep Ricky, Jr. alive even when they hit the field without him.
"We had prayer groups out here. We just were wishing and hoping he came back alive and if you knew the kid, you'd think he was going to come back. You'd think he'd survive the way he was. He's one of them country boys," said McAdams.
These players say that saying their final goodbyes is tougher than any game of football they've ever played.
Donations can still be made to a fund at the Peoples Bank of Fleming County to help Hamilton's family with the cost of the funeral.