BLUEFIELD, W.Va (WVVA) - On Thursday, the Bluefield high school football team loaded up into a pair of buses headed for Wheeling.
The Beavers will play No. 2 Bridgeport in the Class AA state championship Friday night.
The team had to hit the road early in the afternoon, but still wanted to honor their friend and teammate, Lil' Tony Webster, on the fifth of the month. So, the school combined the two events -- as students lined the bus route to release balloons as they departed.
It was a gesture that proved the bond that brings this team, this school and this community together is greater than the game.
"Our kids, they've been playing for more than football," said Lil' Tony's fathers and assistant football coach Tony Webster. " This has been a real emotional ride because all of these kids started with me when they were 4 and 5 years old -- this senior class. It's real emotional. But I know that they know it's more than football. We're doing it because we're a family and we're doing it for our community."
To top it all off, the team rolled away in buses number 05 and 15.
Kickoff in Wheeling is slated for 7 p.m. on Friday.