LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – A community is coming together to commemorate the life of a high school athlete. Abe Romero collapsed during a football game in Las Cruces back in August and later died. His family says even though he’s gone, he’ll never be forgotten.  “He would make up jokes and you know make people laugh out of anything,” says Elizabeth Alonzo, Abe Romero’s mother. 

Abraham Romero’s mother says her son loved sports since he was four years old. By the time he was in middle school, he fell in love with football. 

On August 26, the Organ Mountain High School senior, collapsed on the field during a game against Deming. The 17-year-old was in a medically induced coma for three weeks before passing away

Story continues below:

“We thought it would never happen to us. You know you would just see it in movies or you would hear it on the news but you would think oh that’s never going to happen to me,” says Alonzo. 

Months later, his family says they want Romero to be remembered. The Las Cruces teen would have celebrated his high school graduation Saturday. “You know tomorrow is like bittersweet because I’m dreading that moment to actually be there without Abe, but I know in some way he’s going to be there,” says Alonzo. 

She says his teammates will be honoring him by wearing his uniform number, 22, on their graduation caps. She says one player sent her a text message saying they’d never forget their brother. “I was like, wow Abe you know after so many months your team, your brothers are still there for you,” says Alonzo. 

She says the community’s support has helped her get through his passing. People all over New Mexico and El Paso sent handwritten letters and sentimental items that now fill a room dedicated to his memory. “I have no words to thank everybody that supported us in every way…I always knew people like Abraham, but now I know people loved Abraham,” says Alonzo. 

The family says they’re working on creating a football training camp next year in Romero’s honor. It would educate youth on how to protect their health while playing the sport.