Vandals keep fallen teammate McRoyal's memory alive

Published On: Aug 30 2012 02:18:05 PM PDT   Updated On: Aug 29 2012 09:52:08 PM PDT
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"When the phone rings early in the morning like that it's usually not something good." Vandals head coach Robb Akey recalls.

May 13th, 2012... A day the University of Idaho community will never forget.

"I didn't believe it and I didn't want to believe it," said senior wide receiver Mike Scott.

The day Vandals wide receiver Ken McRoyal was shot and killed while home in Los Angeles.

"That was a tragic call," said Akey. "Obviously everyone took it hard, it's a family member, it's a brother."

Three months later, Ken is remembered for his fiery personality, and competitive nature.

"I mean you would definitely hear him," Scott added. "You would definitely know exactly where he was on the field, and if he made a catch, you would never hear the end of it."

"He could make you laugh no matter how bad of a day you were having," said junior quarterback Dominique Blackman. "That's the kind of impression he had."

He's still at practice...everyday, on wristbands, and backpads...

"It's just a little symbol, " said Scott. "You know a backpad, you can't even see it when we have our jersey on, but we know that we can wear that, and that he's looking down on us, and it just makes us feel a little better about the situation."

Now, the adversity that comes with the loss of a teammate, has made the Vandals more of a team.

"You know he has been that rock that's kind of brought us all together, " added Blackman. "That piece that's brought this team to be a team."

"We all take that as a chance to come together, " Scott added. "As a family and work together."

"We've moved forward since then, but Kenny's going to be with us." Akey said.

When they take the field Thursday night, forever in number 86, forever in Vandals silver and gold.