TOMBALL, Texas — Before Friday night's game between the Tomball Cougars and the Stratford Spartans, the school took some time to honor their former teammate and his family.
The Tomball community honored former player Carson Collins, who was tragically killed over the summer by an escaped inmate.
His #5 jersey was presented to his parents with players and fans wearing 'Collins Strong' bracelets as well.
Carson was one of the five members of the Collins family who were killed by an escaped inmate in June. His grandfather, Mark, along with his brothers Waylon and Hudson and cousin Bryson, were killed at a cabin next to the family ranch in Centerville.
Gonzalo Lopez escaped back in May after attacking a corrections officer and hijacking a prison bus in Leon County while being transported between prisons.
On June 2, authorities said Lopez killed the Collins family and stole their truck before making his way to a rural area near San Antonio. Lopez was then killed in a shootout.
“This is devastation,” said Chris Collins, the father of Waylon, Carson and Hudson back in June during a funeral service. “While we are hurting more than we could possibly imagine, we will be OK.”
Collins and other family members called the murder by Lopez an act of evil.
“Even that night before, we had all the information ... I looked up in my backyard, and I said, ‘God, tell me my babies are OK,’” Collins said. “Almost audibly, I could hear, ‘They’re OK. I’ve got them. They’re OK.’ No, it was not the ‘OK’ that a flesh-and-blood father wanted, but in that moment, I had the most supernatural peace that I’d ever had in my entire life.”
Family members said they were overwhelmed by the love shown to them from around the nation during their time of overwhelming loss.