AUSTIN, Texas -- Football players at St. Michael's in Austin have a new turf field this year; it is a new place to play that also has special meaning.
• Austin McMeans committed suicide in 2015
• His family made a donation to his school in his honor
• The football field was renamed to Austin McMeans field
Austin McMeans was a son, a brother, and a teammate. He was also a young man large in stature with an even larger personality.
“He was a guy that could get people up and make people laugh. I always remember Austin to be smiling and bring a sense of love into a room,” said St. Michael’s football coach, Ben Ortiz.
Austin took his own life in 2015.
“We don’t blame anybody or any circumstance for our son’s passing. We would like people to be able to reach out and be aware of the pressures kids these days feel,” said Bill McMeans, Austin’s father.
To honor the memory of their son, the McMeans family decided to make a donation to a place that meant so much to Austin.
“We’re a family that literally has thousands of hours of positive memories and these at St. Michael’s were some of the best,” said Bill McMeans.
In August their vision was laid down as the St. Michael’s football team walked onto their new field for the first time.
“[We were] just overwhelmed with emotions, it was a magical moment for sure,” said Ortiz.
The Crusaders now play on Austin McMeans field. It’s a state-of-the-art turf surface with a concussion pad to help prevent injuries. A sign with Austin’s name now stands above the walkway to the field.
“Before each game I say a prayer and always include Austin. I often will finish with a point to the sign, that really still means a lot to me,” said Ortiz.