BALTIMORE (WJZ) — After a season filled with sadness, the Mervo High School football team left the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium with their first 4A/3A State Championship title.

Their teammate Elijah Gorham, jersey number seven, suffered a traumatic brain injury in a September game. The 17-year-old died in October.

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Since his passing, Gorham’s teammates have rallied around his mother, Shantres Shaw.

“To see the young men do that was just very special,” Shaw said.

Shaw said making it to the “ship,” or the championship, was her son’s goal.

Leading up to Thursday night, some of the football players on the team made a promise to Elijah to not only make it to the championship but to win it.

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“You know if Elijah was here, he’s going to make it happen and they said ‘we got it’ and they did it,” said Shaw.

Mervo won 22-13 against Dundalk.

Although Elijah was not on the turf that night, his teammates brought his #7 jersey out onto the field in his honor.

“Through adversity, oftentimes, people come closer,” Mervo High School Athletic Director Patrick Nixon said Wednesday. “I think we’ve come a lot closer because of the loss of Elijah.”

On Friday night, ‘#7Strong’ flashed at the entrance to Mervo High School. Another tribute to Elijah.

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“My son is a gift from God to me, Elijah Gorham will live on for life,” said Shaw.

Cristina Mendez