CRISP CO., GA (WALB) - Crisp County baseball players warmed up for Monday night's game wearing shirts with Colton Shaw's number 3 on them.
"It's always special to honor young people," said Bill Pate, Crisp Co. Head Coach. "And this is a very important part of...this is what we're here for."
Shaw was a 9th grade player at Valdosta High who died last month after being struck in the head by a baseball in the dugout.
A tragic accident that caught the attention of coach Pate.
"Anytime a young life is lost like that, you know, they deserve to be honored in the light in which they shined," said Pate. "And Colton was a very good baseball player."
Pate used to live in Valdosta, and his relationship with the Wildcats also drew him to the story.
"Coach Shuman, the head coach and I are really good friends," said pate. "Colton's family is related to my wife's family. So, there are a lot of connections there."
But it wasn't just Pate who wanted to honor Shaw.
"One of the members of our Booster club said, 'we need to do something,' and we kicked it around," said Pate. "And then, we all talked about it."
The Cougars also raised money for Shaw's family..
"We didn't set a goal," said Pate. "We're just trying to raise as much money as we can to recognize Colton and what he represented."
The tragedy prompted the school to consider safety improvements to the ballpark in the offseason.
"We're hoping to improve our dugouts," said Pate. "Maybe, increase the size, make them a little bit higher. Put some kind of netting in front of the dugout. Something like that."
Pate says he's honored to help the Shaw family and to show his players the importance of helping others.
The Cougars also held a moment of silence for Shaw and flew their flag at half staff.