MONAHANS, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – Whether it’s playing for their teammates, or playing for their home town, many football players dedicate their play to something or someone bigger than themselves, or even football.

But now, for Monahans senior, Ryan Ramirez, he’s faced with a difficult situation moving into his last year with the Loboes. He’s choosing to honor his late mom.

On July 31st, the morning of Ramirez’ first 2-a-day practice for his senior year with the Loboes, his mother Mireya Ramirez, passed away in Lubbock, after suffering from a stroke.

“Couple of days before she passed, she started doing good. And the doctors were trying to prevent her from getting a stroke. Then she ended up, getting the stroke. And then that’s whenever she passed,” said Ramirez.

For Ryan, the loss was so sudden and heartbreaking.

He mentioned, “That day was just like, I don’t want to be around nobody. I just wanted to be alone in a dark room, just there by myself. And personally, I was a mama’s boy. So it hit me hard.”

Ramirez said the family has lost someone so integral in their daily lives, “I mean, my sisters like it hit them hard, too. They were really close with her. My little sister, she was always with her, she went everywhere with her. My older sister, she was there, I mean, they got an argument here and there. But, you know, the love was still there. So, it was hard for all of us.”

He said they were, and still are, lost and shocked this happened so quickly.

“Confused on how she was doing good, one day, one week and the week she was, she got worse,” he added.

Now Ryan is trying his best to stay focused on football and make his mom proud.

“It’s been hard. The day she passed, I mean, the night we had the midnight madness came here to get my mind off of it. It helped a lot. The next day, it kind of hit me hard, not seeing her at home,” said a choked up Ramirez. “It took my mind off of it a little bit more. And that’s what I’ve been mainly been doing. Just coming here, focusing with my teammates. They’re keeping me in shape asking how I’m doing all the time.”

Now, he wanted to make sure he shows how much he loved her throughout the entirety of the season.

“I’m a dedicate it to her, like on last Friday night, I was kind of, sad, that she wasn’t there after the game. I was really expecting her to be, I mean, which I know she was there in spirit.”

In their first game of the season, Ryan was desperate to see his mom up in the stands but was heartbroken knowing something was missing.

“During the game, I always look up in the stands see my family, make sure like everyone was there, who’s there? And…that one person just makes a difference like it made me think about it a lot more,” shrugged Ramirez.

Ramirez also said the team as a whole, loved his mom and she dedicated so much of her time to supporting all of them, that they had to make sure she knew how cherished she was.

“I’m pretty sure they miss her, too. She was like, I guess she was one of the top Loboe moms and she was here. [Doing] Everything, [being] at everything. Like with every meeting, everything. Like pretty much she just involved with everything,” he laughed. “I asked for a little sticker on the back of the helmet. So we all have those. It’s her initials and your favorite color.”

That sticker is on every single helmet and Ramirez said they will remain there throughout the entire season, along with her initials posted on all their lockers.

And while he knows she won’t physically be in the stands to cheer him on, he said he knows she’s watching over him and he will hold on to that as long as he can.

“I just miss her a lot. Like every day at home after practice, I’m always wanting to see her because she’s always sitting on the table when I get home waiting for me to get home.”

The family will be holding a funeral mass at the St. John Evangelist Catholic Church in Monahans on Saturday at 10 in the morning for those who wish to pay their respects.