The Norcross football program was hit with tragedy for the second time in as many years on Wednesday.
Nicholas Kim, a rising senior on the defending state champion's football team, died after a long battle with a rare form of cancer.
"He's such a great kid," Norcross head coach Keith Maloof said. "He played on the offensive line and after his freshman year he was voted on the leadership council by his peers. He had a lot of respect."
It's the second time the Norcross football team lost a member of its program. Nicholas Jackson II was shot in February 2012 during a home invasion.
"I think the kids are handling it pretty well," Maloof said of the second tragedy. "We are here for the family."
Kim's teammates went to Twitter to pay their respects to their friend.
"RIP Nick Kim. I love you man, please watch over this season. This season is for Nick Kim and Nick Jackson. #NorcrossAngels," Norcross receiver LaMarcus Hardnett tweeted.
Kim, 17, played on the offensive line as a freshman and sophomore for Norcross. He was unable to play last season as Norcross won the state title, but was with the team for the championship game.
"He was a very unselfish kid and a great young man," Norcross offensive line coach Dale Farr said. "He had a heart as big as this room."
"You fought the hardest battle of your life but you're in an amazing place now RIP Nick Kim," Norcross offensive lineman Blake Wood tweeted.
Kim was selected to the Norcross football team's leadership council his freshman and sophomore year. He was a member of the school's spirit club, the Blue Crew, and was elected to student council.
"@NickRagerKim is probably one of the best person that I ever knew ... you were loved by everyone im gonna miss you," Norcross teammate Nick Jones tweeted.
Kim was also active in Relay For Life and the drama club at Norcross.
Kim is the son of Susan Kim and brother of Alex Kim. A funeral mass will take place today at noon at the Korean Martyrs Catholic Church. Online condolences may be made at www.crowellbrothers.com. Arrangements by Crowell Brothers Funeral Home, 5051 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Peachtree Corners, GA 30092.
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