KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Students and coaches are remembering a Northland teenager killed in a car crash this week.

It happened just two days after graduation near 68th and Waukomis. Police said he was not wearing a seatbelt.

Like his fellow Park Hill graduates, Drew Price was preparing for the next phase of his young life.

“Empty, heartbroken,” longtime friend Mateo Marquez said. “It just don’t feel the same in here without him.”

Marquez had been friends with Price since first grade. They shot hoops with the Real Dream Chasers at the Patriot Sports Club.

Price also played basketball. His trainer was Ronnie Powell.

“Give it your all even though you’re tired, keep pushing through – that’s what he did,” Powell said.

Marquez went to Drew’s graduation.

“I see him walk across the stage and I see him come back so happy. He always kept a smile on his face,” Marquez said. “Always kept a smile on his face, through whatever he was going through.”

The Park Hill School District said Drew was also impressive in the classroom. He was a KC Scholars Student with a full ride scholarship to Missouri Western.

Price played football at Park Hill High School.

Coach Andy Sims said the 17-year-old was a quick learner, coachable and athletic.

Sims said Price led the team in friendships, comparing him to a magnet — drawing in people and positivity on and off the field.

“When you saw him in the hallway there were always people around him. Always had a group of friends,” Sims said. “He was one of those kids you love seeing every day. Even as a teacher, as a coach. It didn’t take much more than a smile to get you going and he was a pleasure to have around.”

Bryce Lisaka and Price played football together. He said Drew had a spark that brough out the best in others.

“Loved that kid, I really did,” Lisaka said. “Drew’s always pushing me in the weight room, he was lifting we me, he’s building me up, he’s getting me stronger, he’s just one of those guys you can always count on.”

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Now standing on this field missing his friend, Lisaka has a message.

“Be safe when you’re driving,” Lisaka said, “be sure to put that seatbelt on, doesn’t matter if you’re going five feet or five miles. It saves lives.”