Updated: 08/16/2014 6:35 PM
Created: 08/16/2014 5:53 PM KSTP.com
By: Joe Augustine
Football players from South High School filled the first four pews at the New Salem Missionary Baptist Church in Minneapolis Saturday afternoon. They came to say goodbye to teammate Sha-Kym Adams just days before their first game of the season.
Adams, 15, drowned in Lake Nokomis Aug. 7 while cooling down with teammates after a summer workout.
Coaches provided counseling services to players after dive teams pulled Adams' body from the water.
"We had the whole team over the very first night this happened," Coach Lenny Sedlock said. "
Counselors will also be available when school starts in September.
Kimberly Adams, Sha-Kym's mother, asked the team to carry her son's memory with them through the season.
"I do not want you to look at this as a tragedy," Adams said. "This is a gift we are all carrying inside of us."
The family will be honored at the first game of the season on Aug. 27 at South High School.