Victoria West seniors remember former classmate (Video)
June 1, 2013 at 1:01 a.m.
Updated June 2, 2013 at 1:02 a.m.
To view a photo gallery of the 2013 Victoria West High School graduation, click here.
Victoria West GRADUATING CLASS
Total number of graduating seniors: 349
Class valedictorian: Andres Saenz
Class salutatorian: Andrea Michelle De Los Santos
Colors: Red, black and silver
Song: "Radioactive" by Imagine DragonS
Motto: "Life brings tears, smiles; and memories last forever."
The 2013 graduating class of Victoria West High School filled every chair on Warrior Stadium Field except one.
That chair was reserved for former classmate Jacob Guzman.
Guzman's chair was draped in a black gown, and in its seat was a framed picture.
"Tonight is about celebrating milestones," Principal Debbie Crick said during the ceremony. "It's also marked with sadness."
Guzman was in a fatal car wreck in June and died before entering his senior year in high school.
"We will honor him tonight," Crick said.
Graduating senior Kris Headley, 19, said it hurt to graduate without his friend.
"We really miss him," he said. "He was a Warrior."
Guzman was a point guard on the school's junior varsity basketball team, and his captain, Bucky Hartman, said honoring Guzman was the right thing to do.
"I think all of the seniors agree that it's right to honor him," Hartman said.
Teammate Darien Henry, 18, said graduation was all Guzman talked about.
"He wanted to be here," Henry said. "It's sad to see that his dreams were cut short."
To the 2013 graduating class of Victoria West High School: What are you looking forward to most after graduation?
"Taking the next step in my life to succeed." - Yari Mendez, 18
"Going to college and studying my favorite field, which is criminal justice." - Kyle Winkler, 17
"Not having to go to school." - Cheyenn Beyer, 18
"Attending Spartan College in Oklahoma." - Eric Serrano, 19
"Going to Texas State and moving in with my four best friends." - Cameron Shaw, 18
"Not waking up so early." - Lynwood Baker, 19
"Definitely leaving Victoria." - Madison Elder, 18
"Starting my life, going to college and making a lot of money." - Samantha Goedrich, 18