FAIRFIELD, Texas - Two former high school football players from the Houston area were killed in a fiery crash on their way back to college.
Tyler Spillman and Bryce Cook, both 19 years old, crashed head-on into a tanker near Fairfield on Monday. Investigators say their car veered into the path of the truck.
Cook and Spillman ended up as teammates in college but they first met as competitors in high school.
"They met at a game when they played against each other," said Faye Cook, Bryce Cook's mother.
Spillman graduated from Klein Collins, which plans to honor him at Friday night's game.
Cook was a Westfield graduate. His former coach called him a terrific young man with great promise.
2 former high school athletes killed in crash
Both students played football at Trinity Valley Community College southeast of Dallas. They had a passion for the game and a passion for life.
Cook's family said he had dreams to play in the NFL.
"[He] was striving to be better than what he was," said Faye Cook, "He wanted so much out of life."
Spillman's high school football coach echoed the same sentiment about him.
"A lot of the younger guys really looked up to him just for his effort and the fact that he connected with everybody," said Drew Svoboda, athletic director and head football coach of Klein Collins High School.
Trinity Valley Community College had a bye last week, so Cook and Spillman decided to visit Houston for the weekend. They both visited their old football stadiums under the Friday night lights.
Early Monday morning, they were headed back to college when troopers say they crashed head-on into an 18-wheeler. They died at the scene.
They were two strangers who became friends and two men who will leave legacies behind.
"He was just a great human being," said Svoboda.
"He didn't get to make it to the NFL but he made it to heaven. We're satisfied with that. He traded a helmet for a crown and we're satisfied with that," said Kyotta Cook, Bryce Cook's sister.
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