CENTRAL, LA (WAFB) - Central High School honored alumnus Devon Gales Friday during their game against Denham Springs.
Gales, who now is sophomore member of the Southern University football team, sustained severe neck and spinal injuries in this fall's game against Georgia.
"If you're ever feeling down, he's one that could bring you up in a heartbeat," said Devin Collins, one of Gales' high school classmates and teammates.
Many of those classmates gathered on the fifty yard line before kickoff, paying tribute to the alumnus. They even Facetimed Gales on their phone, moving around the phone to allow him to see friends, former teammates, and fans through the tiny screen.
"That was my first time seeing him since the accident, so I almost teared up a little bit because that's my brother," said Jaylon Morris, who played alongside Gales on the Central football field.
Gales graduated from Central in 2013. The school painted the field blue and gold in his honor, with his high school and college numbers alongside each other at the midfield. The Southern logo was painted in one end zone and the Georgia logo in the other to thank both schools for their work in treating their favorite son.
His teammates spoke about his skills on the field.
"He may be one of the smallest people on the field, but he packs the biggest punch I've ever seen," Collins said.
"He always gave it his all, definitely one to count on on the football field," said Josh Goodwin.
As the game got underway, his classmates went through the stands gathering donations for Gales' recovery fund. Other fans and coaches bought T-shirts with Gales' high school number on them. The proceeds from the shirts also contribute to the fund.
"You just know he's going to bounce back from this because he could bounce back from anything. If anyone from the football team could do it, it would be him," Goodwin said.
Overall, leaders said they have raised well over $2,000 for Gales.