MANOR, Texas (KXAN) — The family of a Manor Excel Academy student who died in a car crash last year accepted a posthumous diploma on his behalf Thursday morning.
Lance Thomas, 17, died on Nov. 3, 2015 when he crashed his car on US 290 near Harris Branch Parkway. Thomas was a former Manor High School student who was a senior at Manor Excel High School at the time of his death. The district says Thomas played both football and basketball while at Manor High.
To remember the one-year anniversary of his passing and how hard he worked towards his graduation, Thomas’ mother, Christina Butler and his sister attended a special ceremony at the school. Friends and family also held a balloon release after the diploma ceremony.
“Remember that in a split second it could all be gone. When you think of Lance, do not mourn for him or my family,” his sister said. “This is not what he would want. Hear his name and think of living better, loving hard and laughing harder. Miss him but live on for him.”
“As a mom, you look for those certain milestones, graduation, prom, college, getting married,” his mom said. “My son doesn’t get all that but they did make that diploma and graduation a part of that for me.”
“He was more than just a football player, he was a great teammate and all the kids realize that and that’s what they’re really mourning about,” said Manor High School Football Coach Sadd Jackson when he found out about Thomas’ death. “He wasn’t a perfect kid but he was striving to try and be perfect — those type of kids don’t come around often, and as a coach and as his mentor, he’s going to be sorely missed.”