SPRINGFIELD, GA (WTOC) - Family and friends gathered on Saturday to lay former Effingham County Rebel football standout Demonte Lee to rest after he was killed while riding his motorcycle last Saturday.
His coaches were in attendance as well. Everyone that spoke about Demonte mentioned how he was always encouraging with his smile and his unique laugh.
His funeral was a celebration of his life, but there was no shortage of tears in the room the entire time. His teammates say that this has been a hard week for everyone because they never thought they'd be apart of planning a funeral for a man who was a brother to them so soon.
"It's been stressful but now I'm relieved because I got the word from God and everything and I needed that," said teammate Richie McKnight. "I really did 'cause if I didn't have that..I don't know what I would be doing right now and I thank God for that."
McKnight continued, saying "To this day, I know doodah would be happy and I'm happy for him 'cause if it weren't for him, I don't know what I would be doing...it's just...I'm glad he's in a better place."
One of Demonte's coaches read a letter that the young man had written him before his death.
"You made me want to strive for better and I didn't give up on myself and athletic ability," said Dr. Hayes. "You are the main reason why I wanted to play football for Effingham County High School and you gave me the opportunity to prove that I am an athlete."