Victims of Astroworld Festival tragedy honored at high school football game

HOUSTON, Texas – On Saturday, hundreds of people said their final goodbyes to Brianna Rodriguez.

The 16-year-old Heights High School student was one of the nine people killed last week at the Astroworld Festival.

Her funeral service was held Saturday morning at La Paz Memorial Funeral Home on the northside of Houston. The burial procession was at the Hollywood Cemetery.

“She looked like a little doll,” Heights High School student Mia Martinez said. “It really doesn’t feel like she is really gone. Like, we know she is, sadly, but it doesn’t feel like she’s gone.”

Heights football players honoring Brianna Rodriguez on their pads during their playoff game vs Memorial (#repost from...

Posted by KPRC2 / Click2Houston on Saturday, November 13, 2021

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee attended the funeral and said she is praying for all the families.

“This incident has touched our soul,” she said. “Our hearts are broken, but our souls have been touched.”

Brianna was a junior and her favorite color was pink. She was part of the school’s dance team, and classmates said her smile could light up any room.

Brianna was also honored at a football game Saturday afternoon.

Mark Chavez wore a t-shirt that read, “Your wings were ready, but our hearts were not.”

“She was always very cheerful and happy, and she made everyone smile and laugh all the time,” Chavez said.

Heights High School played Memorial High School in a football game at Delmar Stadium.

Memorial High School students and players wore green for John Hilgert. Hilgert, 14, was a freshman at Memorial High School. He was also one of the nine victims who passed away during the Astroworld Festival tragedy.

“I didn’t know him personally. I knew a lot of people that did. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and everyone in the community that knew him,” Carson Zahn said.

On both sides of the field, players, cheerleaders, and visitors wore pink and green.

Brianna and John were taken too soon, but many say they’re making sure their spirits stay alive.

“I’m going to miss her a whole bunch. She was a big part of everything,” Chavez said.

“We wanted to get a win for a community, and give a little happiness in a time of sorrow,” Zahn said.

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