By Makayla Melles
A light rain fell as hundreds of students gathered in a giant circle at Jackie Jensen Field on Wednesday, Dec. 7, to celebrate the life of Antwaun Williams, a senior, scholar, and athlete.
Antwaun, also known as Twaun and many other nicknames, who was a member of the Wildcats varsity football, baseball, and track teams, was shot on Nov. 19, outside of the AMF Southshore bowling alley in Alameda and was pronounced dead at Highland Hospital, according to police reports.
At the school memorial, which began in the theater the day after the funeral, family, friends, and staff members came together to honor his memory and keep it alive.
Speakers at the event remembered happiness and sadness, good times and bad times, but everyone said at the end of the day they still had love for Antwaun, and friends considered him a brother figure.
He was “really positive and would motivate you,” said senior Maribel Vargas. “He would like to sleep in class. And he’ll make the best of a bad situation and make it better.”
Case manager Geral Lowe and senior Danielle Brown MCed the memorial celebration. They recalled the many names by which people knew Antwaun. The audience laughed and cried, remembering.
Speakers included Antwaun’s mother, Monique Williams, who pledged to attend the senior class’s graduation in June, which Antwaun had been looking forward to.
“I miss my son,” Williams said.
After the part of the memorial in the theater, hundreds of people walked together to the field to release white and blue balloons into the gray sky.
“People should remember Antwaun as a kind person who looked out for people who were weaker than him,” said teacher Ben Siino, who remembered that Antwaun “would come in the classroom and shake my hand and ask me how I was doing.”
Classmates remembered his laugh, his humor, and his concern for others.
“I remember Antwaun as funny, full of life, and always singing,” said senior Kiara Munguia. ‘He would motivate you to do your best.”
Twaun may be gone, but he will always be remembered.
Additional reporting by Tommy So