By: Sarah Snyder
During football season, it's tough to find something Midland High's Bulldogs and Midland's Lee's Rebels can agree on, but on Thursday they came together to honor a classmate and remember a friend.
David Dinkha's life was cut short after a construction accident back in July.
He was about to begin his senior year, and now school has started back without him, and his classmates say it's just not the same.
Thursday would have been his 18th birthday and for the very first time students at both Midland and Lee wore purple and gold ribbons to remember their classmate, teammate, and friend.
"You can tell that people are upset. it's just been a hard day," Midland High Senior Ty McKaskie, said.
Midland High students and teachers are remembering moments captured in pictures.
"He was my best friend for 12 years," McKaskie said. "We grew up together. I met him the first day of kindergarten when we got on the bus together.
"He was one of those kids, he always had a smile on his face regardless of the situation," Chris Moralez, David's Teacher and Coach, said.
A drilling accident took David Dinkha's life back in July, and on what would have been his 18th birthday the Senior class decided to do something special.
"I just felt like today, being his birthday, it was a good day to kind of give back to him and celebrate for him and just kind of remember him," Organizer Hannah Thompson, said. "I did the ribbons. I just got purple and gold ribbons and put them together. And then on a few of them I put little angels on them, and those I gave to his sister and a couple of his closest friends."
"I can't remember anything in the recent past where they've done anything like that," Moralez said.
Even students from Midland Lee High School wore ribbons on Thursday in his memory.
"It's a bigger cause," McKaskie said. "David would have liked it. It's not like he just stuck with Midland High friends, and I think it's good that he touched so many people that it would go from school to school."
And the Midland High Bulldogs have made their own set aside David's locker and jersey.
"And as far as athletically to the football program he was a big part of what we did, he's the type of kid that you build a program around," Moralez said. "It's the ones that work hard that mean a lot and he was one of those types of kids."
"He was fun to be around, funny," David's friend C.J. Huff, said. "Never was mad. he'd make you laugh if you needed to laugh. He was always right there by your side to help you do whatever you needed to do."
Faculty members say remembering David has helped them to connect with other students in their classrooms.
"You get to see that side of them, and I think that's important," Moralez said. "It kind of helps you relate to the kids and see their emotions."
And David's friends say they hope to continue showing David's spirit to students who may not have known him.
"We're his legacy," McKaskie said. "For the people that weren't able to meet him, that didn't have the blessing of getting to know him they'll be able to see him in us. We're his legacy walking around these halls.
His coach tells us during his Junior year David played free safety, and this year the Midland High Bulldogs also made him their honorary team captain.
Students tell us many of his teammates frequently wear David's jersey.