WSU community honors quarterback with candlelight vigil
PULLMAN, Wash. — A silent crowd gathered outside Martin Stadium in Pullman Friday night holding candles, and each other – mourning the loss of Cougar quarterback Tyler Hilinski, who ended his own life on Tuesday. It’s been a tough week for the cougar community.
Flowers, cards and candles surround the “Cougar Pride” statue. The memorial has grown ever since news of Hilinski’s death shocked the cougar nation.
“Everyone is talking about it. People are checking on their friends, making sure that everyone has someone they can connect with,” said Jordan Frost, President of the Associated Students of Washington State university.
Many are still struggling to understand why a promising young athlete would take his own life.
In the bitter cold Friday night, the cougar family huddled together – standing in complete silence. Hilinski’s teammates took a knee.
“It’s one thing to be alone, but another thing to see the entire cougar family coming out,” said Frost. Former players – to see alumni, fans, everyone coming together in just one place to support each other.”
Support for each other, and Hilinski’s family who were at Friday’s vigil. His mother embraced coach Mike Leech at one moment. The pain of her son’s sudden death is still overwhelming.
We may never be able to comprehend the battle Hilinski fought inside himself. While there is pain in those he left behind, there will always love for the comeback kid – who won the day for crimson and gray.
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