Family, teammates honor teen killed in crash - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Family, teammates honor teen killed in crash

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OAKSDALE, Wash. - Chris Smith has been the PA announcer for eight years at Tekoa-Oakesdale-Rosalia football games. Friday will be his toughest night.

Smith lost his son Zach on Tuesday when the 17-year-old lost control of his SUV on the way home from a friend's house. Zach was thrown from the vehicle.

"He was a great kid and he brought a great deal of joy to our family," said Chris.

Friday night's game against Pomeroy is dubbed "Senior Night" and is a time to honor graduating players by calling their name, jersey number and family members to the field before the game.

"I knew that Zach absolutely would want his teammates to have a game," said Chris.

Friday would have been an honor for Zach, too. The teenager was going to graduate this spring and had plans to consider college football before his death.

Zach would have been included in the "Senior Night" celebration that his dad will now officiate knowing that his son is gone.

Staff at Oakesdale painted the number "12" on the field where Zach would have played.

"My wife and I, through our Catholic faith consider all of our four children to be gifts from God," he said. "We just feel it is a special, unique time that we have them and we are so thankful for the 18 years we had Zach."

They are thankful for support of the community, saying the last week has been difficult but they appreciate the support of those in their small town.

"We've had calls, we've had support, we've had food, we've had friends and it's all been non-stop," said Chris. "This is why we live here."

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