Hundreds gathered at Harrison High School Saturday night bearing candles, flowers and messages for their friend, 17-year-old Fermin Vialpando. Less than 24 hours earlier, Vialpando collapsed and died on Harrison's football field during the school's homecoming game. Early autopsy reports indicate Vialpando suffered from a heart condition. Vialpando's name graced the stadium scoreboard as at least 300 filled the stands, hugging and crying. Many, including Sarina Lujan wore t-shirts with Vialpando's face on the front.
"Everyone loved him," said Lujan. It's just really hard to see such a nice guy leave."
Some of Vialpando's closest friends found a quite corner in the stadium to grieve and collect their thoughts, including Derek Scott.
"I don't think he'd want us to be sad forever," said Scott. He'd want us to get over it and move on and have him in our hearts."
And there, say his friends, is where Vialpando will live on.