Mattox Williams Memorial brings the community together

Saint Joseph, Mich – 17-year-old Mattox Williams was celebrated by the Saint Joe community after his battle with bone cancer.

From the moment the community arrived at Saint Joe high school, it was clear, tonight was all about Mattox.

"Mattox his legacy. He's such a good friend and he just did so much for us. And obviously we see all these people here. Everyone loves him. Everyone's here for him," Mattox's friend and teammate Andrew Nate said.

When everyone was hurt and emotional for Mattox, he was strong and selfless.

"Today hits different. I mean we know what was going on but today it just hurt overall. I feel myself getting numb and it's just surreal," Mattox's basketball coach Rodney Alexander said.

As the feelings continue to sink in, tonight's celebration of life showed just how much Mattox had on those around him.

"To describe Mattox, I would just say loving everyone. I mean, he's always looking out for everyone, not just himself. Looking out for friends, and even his community. If I could say one more thing to him, I miss you. I love you. You made our friend group stronger. You made our whole community stronger. I wish I could talk to him another time," said friend and teammate Cole Caplea.

On the day before his passing, Cole and the rest of Smiley's (Mattox) friends spent an unforgettable time together. Less than 24 hours before hearing the news about their beloved friend.

"I just woke up in the morning for school like a normal day and my mom told me it might be minutes, might be hours and I really just like wanted to go to his house really bad and talk to him one last time. But we thought it was better for him to live his moments of peace. Caplea added.

We watched the Lions game before and he really wanted that to be the last moment of fun, enjoyable time instead of him grieving in pain. And I'm just happy that he gets to be in a better place now and live his life up there," Caplea said.

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