The First Baptist Church of Stephenville was filled to the brim Friday morning as friends and family of Alex Sanchez gathered to pay their respects and reflect on the life of the late Stephenville and Tarleton student-athlete.

The memorial service featured speakers ranging from Sanchez’s former Tarleton head football coach, Cary Fowler, to high school teammates and his older brother.

Each individual that spoke, held Sanchez to a high standard and spoke about his character.

“I asked him what he wanted the team to be known for and he said, 'Be a good example for children, help children, be good for the community, always have each other’s backs and be around people who hate to lose.' That was the type of person that Alex Sanchez was,” Cary Fowler, former Tarleton head football coach, said.

Friends Aaron Vanden Berge and Brice Gunter also spoke at the memorial service.

“It was clear to see the impact that Alex made on a lot of people’s lives by the amount of people here today. It would have gone straight to his ego like everything else,” Vanden Berge joked. “But if you say any word about Sanchez, the one word I’d use is loyal. He’d have our back at the drop of a pin, no matter what, even if we were in the wrong.” 

Gunter spoke about the friendship the two built during their years playing football for the Stephenville Yellow Jackets and their journey to winning a state title back in 2012.

“One thing Sanchez and I had together was football. From the very beginning we had that,” Gunter said. “In 7-on-7 or on Friday nights, Sanchez was always the one to start something and usually always finished it. We watched ‘Friday Night Lights’ a lot growing up. We always looked up to Chris (Sanchez) and watched the 2005 highlight tape no counting how many times. It was our goal to win state and when we finally got there, we knew we had to get it.”

Speaking for the family was Sanchez’s older brother Chris who gave a very memorable quote during the service.

“I am so proud of how hard Alex worked. Alex’s memory will live on after this,” he said. “It may be sad now, Alex had such a joyful life and I’m just going to try my best to keep that going for him. I’m so proud of him. When he reached out to me after Brayden (Coverdale) passed away he asked me how does he keep going. I told him to not be sad that it’s over, but to be happy that it happened. I think Alex would say the same thing to all of you right now.”

Sanchez passed away after being involved in a two-vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 281 last Sunday.