Player bats for lost brother

MAHOMET -- Baseball games are usually filled with cheering, but some students would say the moments of silence before were the most important part.

A high school junior died in a car accident, and his brother went up to bat in his honor.

Mahomet-Seymour students gathered to remember 16-year-old Jacob Hamilton. They remembered him with silence, and encouraged his brother with applause.

The Hamilton family said their family is not very big, and the loss is hitting them hard. That's why they felt so much gratitude when they looked beyond the baseball diamond to see a huge crowd standing behind them.

When senior Bradley Hamilton came up to bat, he was met by a standing ovation of cheers.

He carryied his little brother's memory across his back. Number ten became number two, the number Jacob wore for soccer.

"We've been the same soccer team for at least the past six years," said Trevor Burgess.

Burgess's friendship with Jacob came easily.

"We clicked in a lot of different ways," said Burgess. "Jacob's one of those guys you don't see in every school. He's just one of a kind, and I'm lucky I got to be so close to him my whole life. It doesn't seem right. I'm just waiting to wake up from this dream."

"I don't understand why he was taken from us," said Kadyn Jones.

Jones lost a friend and a role model.

"When I came to high school last year, he kinda took me under his wing and gave me a lot of rides home," said Jones. "I looked up to him...as a soccer player and as a person."

Dozens formed a sea of light blue...the color of Jacob's favorite professional soccer team, as they honored his brother's strength to stand up and swing a bat.

"(We're) kind of leaning on each other to think about the memories that we had with him, and just remember the person he was," said Jones.

"Whenever I think of Jacob...he's just a good person. He did everything right," said Burgess.

"And he was almost always right," added Jones. "You couldn't argue with him very easily."

He had a kind heart, and a personality that will stick with Mahomet-Seymour High School.

"Like one of my teachers said earlier, he's just an elite human being. I think that's so true," said Burgess.

Students did several things to honor Jacob. A vigil was held Wednesday night. Baseball players wrote "JH2" on their caps while they played the game, and students plan to wear light blue to school Friday.

The Hamilton family said Jacob's visitation will be on Monday, from 3-8 p.m. at First Christian Church on Curtis and Staley.

 

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