Football coach Demetrius Monroe has nothing but good things to say about one of his players, 14-year-old Joshua Earls.

"He's a tremendous athlete you know he's that kid that anybody would want on his team," says Monroe.

Coach Monroe with the South Texas Heat Select Youth Football Team has been mentoring the young man since Earls was only 8-years-old and through the years they built an unbreakable bond.

"He was quirky. He was always climbing around. He touched a lot of people."

Unfortunately, that bond was broken on the evening of December 21. Earls was reportedly running across Saratoga near Weber, not using a crosswalk when he was hit by a car. Earls was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital, where he remained in a coma for nearly a week.

Earls passed away on the evening of December 28.

As a long-time coach and mentor, this news was devastating to Monroe, and he said it was like losing his own child. The coach adds his passing is exceptionally heart-breaking because Joshua had a promising future. Monroe predicted the 14-year-old running back would've gone straight to the Varsity football team next year, as a freshman.

"Past that as well, you know he would've continued to succeed as an athlete and as a scholar," Monroe adds.

As the Earls mourn the loss of their youngest son, Monroe decided to organize a fundraiser to help the family with extra medical costs and funeral expenses.

"They're family to us these boys are like my sons, its just basically to show that we got your back to the Earls family, we're a family, this organization is a family, and we're all coming together to help them in their need."

The fundraiser will be at Gators off of SPID on Saturday, December 30, starting at 10 A.M. All of the money raised will go directly to the Earls. Monroe says there will be food and activities for everyone.

Stay connected with 3News for the latest news, sports, and weather. Download the KIII-TV 3News app now.

Have an idea for a story? Send news tips to, and visit us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!