HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Henrico community is mourning the loss of 16-year-old Frank Woolwine who was killed in a car crash Saturday morning. The teen was a rising junior at Freeman High School where he played football and lacrosse.
Monday morning, the football team came together to face the first practice without their teammate.
“It was hard to see everybody at one time but it was good to get everybody back together,” said Head football coach Mike Henderson.
Henderson said this year would have been Woolwine’s first year playing varsity. He was competing for a starting spot at linebacker
“Some of these guys have known Frank and played little league football with him since he’s been in kindergarten,” Henderson said. “Some guys only knew him from summer workouts. So everybody had a different relationship with him, and so therefore everybody is handling the grieving part a little different.”
Henderson says the school system has been dedicated to helping the team, even providing extra counselors from across the county.
“It was a good show of support for the players and they had the opportunity to talk to somebody is they needed to,” said Henderson. “We truly care about each and every one of them and we just said however you are dealing with it, we are here to support you.”
After talking with Woolwine’s dad, Henderson said he is confident that keeping everyone playing the game Frank loved is what’s best for the team.
“Doing something that he loved and being able to honor him in that way by going out and practicing hard and working hard, I think that’s a great thing for these guys to be able to do,” said Henderson.
He said the team will continue to take this one day at a time.
“There are a lot of unknowns out there,” said Henderson. “It’s our first day together today. I don’t know how guys will feel tomorrow, how guys will feel Wednesday, how guys will feel next week.”