New memorial facility honors teen killed in crash

3:39 PM, Sep 29, 2013   |    comments
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LOGAN COUNTY - No matter how much time has passed, the memories of someone you've lost will never fade away. 

It's been nearly two years since Cole Rhodes passed away. The teen from northeast Colorado was killed on January 4, 2012 while driving to Caliche High School, just outside of Sterling.

"I think when - when you lose a child, a big thing is you're kind of afraid that people will forget him. I just think this will help. [It will] help me know he won't be forgotten for a long time," said Terri Rhodes, Cole's Mother.

Terri is referring to the memorial building that now has her son's name. It sits atop a hill right near Caliche's High School football field.

"His [Cole's] brother Jace said, 'We're not going to do a scholarship in memory of him, because he didn't like school that well,'" laughed Terri. "So we did a sports building".

Cole was a superstar at Caliche High School. Not only did he play basketball, but he also played football. Cole loved football more than any other sport.
"He would have been a stud out there. He was a super star athlete. On the field, he was amazing," said Brenda Zink, who was watching Caliche's homecoming game.

The homecoming game was held on Friday, September 27. Cole would have been a senior playing alongside his cousin and his friends.

"It's hard. I haven't watched a lot of the football game, because he'd be a senior. So, he'd be out there playing," said Terri, as she held back her tears.

Terri stood alongside Cole's memorial. It's a labor of love, she explained.

The entire Caliche community, along with complete strangers, helped raise close to $70,000 to build it.

The memorial facility features a concession stand, a meeting room for the players and restrooms for men and women.

Prior to its existence, an old run down barn stood in its place. Players and spectators would have to run up to the high school to use the bathroom.
"It used to be a 1 and now it's a 10," Zink said.

Small towns are full of wonderful people. They're the sort of people who come together in times of tragedy.

"A lot of people think, you know, small towns - They know everybody's business. But, when it comes to something like this, there's nothing that compares to a small town," Terri said.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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