Thousands Remember Springdale Football Player At Funeral

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- The funeral for Kyler Williams, a high school senior at Springdale High School, was held on Wednesday (Sept. 28) at Christian Life Cathedral in Fayetteville.

The 17-year-old was killed in a car accident on Saturday when his vehicle left the road and rolled several times.

The response to Williams' death was on full display inside the church, as the rooms became packed with people watching live video of the service after the sanctuary quickly filled up.

At the funeral service, stories were shared and music echoed through the halls of the building.

Williams' father Rodney said the support from the community has been overwhelming.

"I've got people from Florida, New Mexico, Texas, Indiana, for my 17 year old son," Williams said. "That makes me so proud, I have a hard time saying words."

Kyler Williams was considered a star on the gridiron. Teammate after teammate described their relationship with Williams as family.

"We fought, but we always made up. We'd always have our laughs, we'd always have good times," said Jayden Minchew, a teammate and good friend of Williams. "There's no other thing to call him, he was my brother."

O'Shea Zebell, a fellow Springdale football player, cracked a smile when he talked about the first time he had met Kyler.

"One of the first times I ever met him, he told me I look like Arthur the aardvark," Zebell said. "I think I'll remember that for the rest of my life."

Tony Johnson, Kyler's uncle, recalled his last memory of his nephew, which resurfaced when going through Kyler's locker. Johnson said he had been looking for a chord to his headphones. Kyler told him he didn't have it.

"I look over in his locker and there's my chord. Right in his locker," Johnson said. "I stood there for a second and I got a little emotional, and I couldn't touch it. I couldn't touch it. That chord is still there. That's the last memory I have with him."

Springdale Head Football Coach Zak Clark said the team will remember their fellow teammate every game, starting with their match up on Friday (Sept. 30) with Har-Ber.

"Our guys, we know they're hurting right now, as is Har-Ber," Clark said. "As are a lot of people, but we're going to honor him."

Rodney Williams said he will miss seeing his son on the field every Friday night, but he will remain a Bulldog for life.

"All the schools who are doing what they're doing, I can't even express to you the gratitude I have for that. Thank you guys so much," Williams said. "I will be at every Springdale Bulldog game, just like I was before, rooting on the brothers of my son."