DENVER – Two high school baseball teams came together on Saturday to honor a young player who passed away unexpectedly.
Brady Hoos, a senior at Dakota Ridge High School and a standout member of the school’s baseball team, died from a seizure March 31.
He was only 17 years old.
“It’s been very surreal, like you just want to wake up from a dream,” said Dakota Ridge head coach Jeff Legault.
Legault says Hoos was one of the nicest, happiest kids he’s ever coached.
“One of the kindest souls that I ever met, happy. He was always smiling. His smile was contagious to everyone around him,” said Legault.
Dakota Ridge honored Hoos before their game with Rock Canyon on Saturday.
The team donned special jerseys with Hoos’ number on them.
They also invited Hoos’ brother, Brock, to throw the first pitch.
It was the first game Dakota Ridge has played since losing Hoos.
The game was supposed to be played at Rock Canyon, but they agreed to move the game to Dakota Ridge as a show of support.
They also presented the Dakota Ridge baseball team with roses in Hoos’ honor.
“We're all one big family,” said Allan Dyer, the head coach at Rock Canyon. “We care about one another and love one another, and I think a lot of our kids are hurting for them as well.”
For Hoos’ mom, Theresa Pszanka, it was evidence of her son’s impact on others.
“He'd bring a smile to anyone,” said Pszanka. “You go through life hoping that your kids are loved and Brady was so loved.”
Tim Hoos says his son wasn’t just a good baseball player, but a good person.
He says his son could teach others important life lessons by just being himself.
“Brady was fearless. He was always a kid that didn't worry about too many things,” he said. “I think what I learned from Brady is how to maybe not worry so much about decisions. Go with your instincts and let things play out and keep moving ahead and not be afraid to try something new.”
It’s a lesson Hoos also taught his teammates, a lesson bigger than baseball.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Hoos’ family with funeral arrangements and other costs.
By Saturday, community members had donated nearly $50,000.