Scott City football players 'Do it for Dom'

Scott City football players 'Do it for Dom'

SCOTT CITY, MO (KFVS) - Every Friday, they come to remember their friend and teammate.

"We miss him every day, he was a brother," said Scott City senior offensive lineman Tyler Rogers.

Their brother in battle was Dominic Hooper, a three-sport athlete at Scott City who passed away in February.

Before every game this season, Scott City offensive line coach Stephen Hemby and his linemen visit Dominic at his grave site at St. Augustine Church.

"We love going there and just seeing him. We just love everything that's involved with him," Rogers said.

They share in a moment of silence, but their gesture reverberates louder than words.

"They knew he loved football. So we're gonna go say hi to him before we go play football," said Dominic's father Chris Snider. "Just a testament to what kind of a kid Dom was."

Dom loved sports with the same passion he loved life.

"He was very driven," Dom's mom Sara Snider said. "I would tell him to slow down, 'you only live once mom.'"

Dom would compete at anything and everything, from card games to driveway hoops.

"When he was younger he couldn't beat me and then when the day came that he could, he let me know," Chris joked.

On Feb. 21, Dom was with a group of friends riding ATVs when there was an accident.

He was taken to Saint Francis Medical Center with serious injuries.

"It's just very heart wrenching to see your boy laying there and nothing you can do about it," Sara said. "Just very difficult. A very devastating feeling."

The 17 year old never woke up.

"I think the hardest part is the empty-ness," Sara described. "It's a very empty feeling, very lonely feeling not to have him here. He was pretty much our world revolved around Dominic. I guess the only thing we are left with is keeping his memory alive."

In the months that have followed, that's exactly what Chris and Sara have done. They started the Dominic Hooper Scholarship Fund for graduating Scott City students involved in a sport.

But it is how others have preserved Dom's memory that means the most.

"It's just amazing how this community pulled together for us and helped us out," Chris said.

"He'll never be forgotten and we want to make sure everybody understands that," said Scott City head coach Jim May.

Dom continues to inspire his former coaches and teammates.

"I tell a lot of people down here he was a once in a lifetime kid, and I don't mean athletically," said Scott City offensive line coach Stephen Hemby. "He would do anything you asked of him, doesn't matter what it was."

Everywhere you look in Scott City, Dom's memory lives on. From wristbands that say "Do It For Dom," to t-shirts that say "Rams DOMination," to the field he once played on with "DOM" painted Rams blue and gold.

"What we break our huddle with each week when we leave the locker room is we wanna play like Dom because Dom put his heart and soul into it," May said. "He would do anything you ask of him on the field. It's not win for Dom, it's play like Dom."

"Play like Dom 'cause Dom always played as hard as he could, he never gave up," said Scott City senior offensive lineman Levi Buckner.

That is what they remember. How Dom played. How he lived.

It's why his teammates choose to pay their respects before they play because they know Dom would have done the same for them.

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