A Washington community is celebrating the life of an inspiring prep athlete who succumbed to a brain tumor.
Dom Cooks, 18, was diagnosed with cancer as an up-and-coming sophomore football and basketball player at Federal Way (Wash.) Decatur High in 2011, according to The Seattle Times. He died on Tuesday. More than 200 people gathered in the rain outside the school to conduct a candlelight vigil in his memory.
“You know, the news got it wrong,” one student told The Seattle Times. “The news said Dom Cooks lost his battle with cancer. But he didn’t lose it. He beat it. He left this world strong and this world better and cancer didn’t beat him. He inspired us.”
At halftime of Decatur's October homecoming game against Auburn Mountainview, the two teams lined up as Cook fulfilled his dream of scoring a touchdown. Afterwards, he was named homecoming king.
According to The Seattle Times, Cooks served as Decatur's Spirit Ambassador and delivered a Quote of the Day during the school's daily morning announcements. He graduated at a special ceremony in February in front of more than 1,500 people, including Seattle Seawhawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin.
From the looks of it, Cooks' legacy will live on in the Decatur hallways long after he's gone.