ELLWOOD CITY (KDKA) — Past and present teammates from Bradley Grinnen’s football days carried his jersey through Helling Stadium in Ellwood City on Wednesday night. It’s the field the 21-year-old played on during high school.
Candles lit up the field during a vigil to honor the young man loved by many.
One of Grinnen’s coaches had a few words to say about the star athlete.
“It’s hard on all of us. We always told our kids, once you join this football team, it’s a family and we’re here honoring one of our family members tonight,” Ellwood City assistant football coach Rob Magnifico said.
Before the candlelight vigil, folks from near and far stood in a long line outside Samuel Teolis Funeral home waiting to pay their respects.
“He knew so many people and was such a good person this doesn’t surprise me at all,” family friend Brandon Bingle said. “He was a genuinely good person and he touched everyone that he knew.
A kind-hearted person, whose life was ripped from him far too soon. The junior at Waynesburg University was found dead inside a dorm room Sunday. He was a defensive lineman on the football team who grew up in the tightknit community of Ellwood city.
Brenda Rossman says Grinnen grew up across the street from her and her son.
“They used to make popcorn over the fire with my cast iron skillet and then ended up on the football field together,” neighbor Brenda Rossman said.
Even Ellwood City’s football team was seen waiting in line at the funeral home to pay their respects.
“I haven’t realized how many people he really knew or how many people knew him. This is amazing,” friend Paul Sutkowski said.
“It’s just crazy because he was so young and everything. He had a lot going for him,” friend Madi Pedaline said.
Grinnen’s funeral will take place Wednesday at 10 a.m. at Holy Redeemer Church in Ellwood City. His autopsy was conducted on Monday, but it’s still unclear his cause of death at this time.