BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A “phenomenal young man” is how Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical high school senior Elijah Gorham is being described.
Gorham, a 17-year-old student-athlete who played wide receiver for the Mustangs, died earlier this week.READ MORE: Baltimore County Public Schools Feeling The Impact Of Nationwide Teacher Shortage
Head football coach and athletic director, Patrick Nixon, said Elijah Gorham was a silent leader on the Mervo football team and was a silent leader who was a steady presence for his teammates and even the adults.
“Just a wonderful young man. So caring, so giving, so genuine, can’t say enough positive things about him,” said Coach Nixon. “Elijah would be one somebody to pick my day up. Elijah would always run up to me and say ‘hey coach, how’s your day?’ and offer a hug.”
Gorham suffered a brain injury during a game Sept. 18, according to his GoFundMe page. He had been in the hospital since that injury until word came out Monday that he passed away.
His mother, Shantres Shaw, spoke with WJZ over the phone Tuesday.
“He was amazing, he loved the game, he loved to play football, he was a team player, a loyal team player, it was a brotherhood to him,” Shaw said.READ MORE: Ravens CB Marlon Humphrey To Speak At Graduation Ceremony For People Who Completed Drug Treatment
The Mervo football program lamented the teen’s passing with a tweet Monday.
“Our hearts are heavy today as we mourn the passing of our fellow brother, and teammate Elijah Gorham,” the tweet said.
Our hearts are heavy today as we mourn the passing of our fellow brother, and teammate Elijah Gorham. We ask that our football community continue to uplift Elijah’s family, teammates and friends in prayer.
— Mervo H.S. Football (@MustangGang410) October 11, 2021
“He was a young man full of promise with an infectious spirit. Elijah’s passing is an unspeakable tragedy,” added Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, a Mervo alum.
Elijah Gorham was more than a @HighMervo student athlete. He was a young man full of promise with an infectious spirit. Elijah’s passing is an unspeakable tragedy. My heart goes out to his family and our @MustangGang410 community. #7strong #mustangpride 💙💛 https://t.co/g3YUQvzMyA pic.twitter.com/ZrV6ojAuNW
— Brandon M. Scott (@MayorBMScott) October 11, 2021
Thursday’s football game may be postponed as the team remembers a young man whose light will continue to glow.
“He means a lot, there was no player on the team that didn’t know and love and respect him,” said Coach Nixon.Baltimore Police Union Advises Officers To Not Disclose Their Vaccination Status Ahead Of City's Mandate
The GoFundMe, meanwhile, has been organized to establish a scholarship in Gorham’s memory. To donate or learn more, click here.