Pacheco High School honors two students who died in the last year

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Students are rebounding from two devastating losses this year, their classmates Josiah Duyao and Isabel Marez who passed away. The student body is honoring them by dedicating the football season to their memory. (KFSN)

We've all heard of angels in the outfield, but this season, they're at Veterans Stadium - home of the Panthers.

Pacheco High School students are rebounding from two devastating losses this year, their classmates Josiah Duyao and Isabel Marez. The student body is honoring them by dedicating the football season to their memory.

"This bit starts with that please have it start with we're there for each other, no matter how much we're hurting, no matter what we go through, we are one," ASB President Jasmin Felix said. "We're here to get through it together."

"To honor him was an amazing experience, I can't thank this community enough," Josiah's mom Deanna Martin said.

She describes her son Josiah as a mother's dream.

"I am just truly blessed to be his mom and have those 16 years, 3 months and 11 days that God gave him to me," she said.

Josiah was killed over summer break when a DUI driver slammed into he and his mother's car. The varsity basketball player and band member weas getting ready to start junior year.

"Though he's not here with me physically, and that's heartbreaking, these activities let me know he's still here," Deanna said. "His friends let me know he's still here."

"It made me happy to see the whole school would show that respect to the family," Isabel's cousin Michael Farias said.

Michael says it's not just the team that has his back on the field, it's the entire school. In August, his cousin was killed in a rollover crash.

The 16-year-old had just started her senior year and planned on playing on the basketball team.

"Everyone around her just loved her," he said. "I don't have a sister, but if anything she would be my sister."

The Panthers honor their angels before each home game by releasing two balloons during a moment of silence. That may be a pregame ritual, but as players head into the end zone they have a constant reminder of who they're playing this season for.

"It's for them," Michael said. "Every game win or lose, it's for them."

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