Football team plays on after teammate's death

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. It's been an emotional year for students and athletes at Garden Grove High.

As a team, these young men are undefeated at 13-0 and Friday night, they will play for the CIF southern section title. It would be their first CIF title in their school's history.

"It's an exciting time right now. You could feel the vibe in the school and you could feel the vibe in the room. We just came out from a team meeting and our kids are ready to go. We're focused and we know what we need to do," said the team's head coach Tom Hay.

Garden Grove's season started out with the loss of a teammate, Kevin Telles. The 17-year-old collapsed during a game versus Westminster High School three months ago. The team has dedicated this season to his memory.

"It's just really indescribable, honestly. There's just so many emotions. You're' not sure exactly how to feel. You just want to go out there and play the game," said football player Zach Huff.

"I'm getting there early. I've got my tickets already," said a parent Rudy Banuelos.

For supporters like Banuelos whose daughter is a freshman at Garden Grove High, the tickets to Friday's championship game were a must to get.

"It's been a good ride. They stuck together and they're playing exceptionally great ball, the coach and all the players. I tip my hat for them," said Banuelos.

This week, the team went to Westminster High School to meet and pray at the spot were Kevin Telles collapsed. One player said it was their closure.

"We're all going to drive down and see Kevin tomorrow morning after the game, win or lose. But I don't want to go empty handed," said football player Jacob Smith.

Friday night's game against La Mirada High School is a chance at history and a perfect 14-0 season for the Garden Grove team.

Copyright © 2019 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.