Amherst Steele High School students support son of fallen trooper, son played in Friday's game

Christian Velez plays in honor of his father
Posted at 5:29 PM, Sep 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-19 13:49:55-04

Christian Velez, son of fallen Ohio Highway Patrol Trooper Ken Velez, played linebacker for the Amherst Comets against Midpark on Friday in honor of his father.

Christian Velez told school officials he wanted to play football, despite losing his father, because he said it's what his father would have wanted.

Thousands at the football stadium paid tribute to Trooper Velez with a moment of silence and a balloon launch.

Students spent Friday afternoon inflating a thousand blue balloons.

The balloon launch, put together by classmates, was a way to show support, a day after Velez lost his father.

Trooper Velez was hit and killed by a driver who police said left the road on I-90 westbound while Velez was monitoring traffic on Sept. 15.

According to court records the driver was under the influence of drugs.

Police formed a tunnel along with students, as Christian and his teammates ran onto the football field.

Athletic Director Casey Wolf said Christian Velez attended school Friday for half a day, and when he left students gave him a standing ovation.

Amherst beat Midpark 54-13.