High school football players fulfill teammate's dying wish

DOUGLAS, GA (WTXF) -- A dying wish fulfilled.

Malik Sparkman wanted to pass through the stadium tunnel at Coffee County High School in Douglas, Georgia one more time. It was the tunnel he once proudly ran through before school football games.

So his teammates granted that wish for Malik, carrying his coffin through that very same tunnel.

Tragically, 18-year-old Malik lost his battle with kidney cancer last week. Before he passed, he asked his teammates to carry his coffin through the tunnel one final time.

According to WSB-TV, more than 500 people were in attendance to pay their respects.

"He always said he wasn't ever gonna give up and God has him," Tia Williams, Sparkman's girlfriend, told WSB. "He was a fighter."

Williams said of Malik's teammates, "They're hanging in there as a team. It brought their team closer. They're strong. They did take it hard at the funeral, but they know he's not suffering anymore."

Malik was diagnosed with kidney cancer last year. He was a linebacker for the Coffee County Trojans and was being recruited by Florida State. He was also due to graduate this year.

The team plans to honor Malik further during next year's season.