BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Friends and family members came together to honor Elijah Gorham, a senior and football star at Mervo High School.

“I’m just overwhelmed with joy. To see the people come out to see my son meant so much,” said his father James Gorham Jr.

READ MORE: A Baltimore County Woman Pushed To Find Her Childhood Friend’s Killer For 40 Years; How New DNA Evidence Finally Cracked The Case

Candles spelled out his name and the phrase “7 strong” to honor his jersey number, a number his mom says he wore proudly.

“The football was his life. He loved it,” said mom Shantres Shaw.

“He was dedicated to football. He was dedicated to family. He was dedicated to work,” his father said.

Gorham suffered a brain injury back in September doing what he loved and was in the hospital ever since. He died on Monday at just 17-years-old.

His death sending shockwaves through the community.

“It was a lot to take in,” said teammate and friend Khalid Wilkerson.

READ MORE: Student Hospitalized, Another In Custody After Franklin High School Fight

“His name is never going to be forgotten. I love my man so he’s going to be with me everywhere I go,” said teammate and friend Deandre Ferguson.

Friends say Gorham had a smile that lit up a room and he had a passion for football.

“He was a playful guy. His energy was just out the roof every time you see him,” said Ferguson.

“I know if he was here he would want us to win states,” said teammate and friend, Kylish Hicks.

His teammates say although he’s no longer here to play, his impact will live on beyond the game.

“He made me a better man he was a little brother to me he was a friend,”  said Hicks

MORE NEWS: Baltimore Man, 62, Charged In Murder Of Evelyn Player

A GoFundMe has been set up to establish a scholarship in Gorham’s memory. Click here to learn more or make a donation.

Kelsey Kushner