LUFKIN, Texas — Lance Modisette, a Lufkin High School senior, was set to graduate Friday, May 26. Instead his friends will be walking the stage in his honor.
Modisette, 18, was killed in a car crash near Nacogdoches on Friday, May 19. Community members gathered Sunday evening in a vigil to remember the legacy he left behind.
Some of his friends and teammates spoke about the memories they say they’ll never forget thanks to baseball.
Hudson Poulan, Kolby Kovar and Jack Bowers all met Modisette through their shared passion of baseball.
"I met Lance on this field right here. We played on a few of the same little league teams after the world series," Poulan said.
It’s on that same field Modisette and Kovar played together on the 'Thundering 13', the famous East Texas team that captured the hearts of those around the world during the Little League World Series in 2017.
"Something about it brought you together like family," Kovar said.
"I met him at 8 or 9-years-old. We had a baseball academy, and my dad would give him lessons," Bowers said.
If Modisette loved anything more than baseball, it was cars and teaching his friends all about them.
"He was like 'what was this car over here' and I would guess, and he would say ‘no, you’re wrong!’ but he was always a really nice friend to me," Poulan said.
"It didn’t matter whether it was day or night. I think he called me one time at two in the morning asking if I wanted to go wash his car with him," Bowers said. "In the middle of school, 'hey you wanna go wash my car."
Kovar says if Modisette could be remembered in one word it would be, "microfiber towel," because he would always keep one in his car. He always had one on him to wipe his dash off whenever it got dusty," Kovar said. "His car was spotless at all times."
On drives, they say he would listen to rock and rap music.
"I have his playlist in my car. I’ve been listening to it the last couple of days," Bowers said.
With graduation this week, Kovar says he’ll find a way for Lance to walk the stage with him.
"Him not being able to walk the stage with me is going to be tough. And I think he deserves to walk that stage in spirit," Kovar said. "I want to walk with him with me in my heart or whatever. If he’s walking with me in his spirit however it is, I want him to walk that stage."
It’s a bond between friends that started with a passion of baseball.
Visitation for Modisette will be held Sunday, May 28, from 4-8 p.m. at Denman Avenue Baptist Church. The funeral will take place Monday, May 29, at 10 a.m., also at Denman Avenue Baptist Church. Interment will follow at the Gann Cemetery. Modisette was set to graduate Friday, May 26, alongside his Lufkin classmates.