WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. -- Each year, the Williamsville North varsity lacrosse team plays a game to honor a fallen hero.
Staff Sergeant Billy Wilson died in Afghanistan in 2012, but his memory continues to live on through a team and sport that meant so much to him.
Wilson played on the Williamsville North varsity lacrosse team all four years of high school after stepping up to play goalie as a freshman.
"The lacrosse team had been at our house pretty much for those four years. We live right around the corner. Billy just loved the game of lacrosse," says Billy’s mom, Kim Wilson.
Wilson graduated in 2003 and joined the Army in 2005. He served two tours of duty in Iraq before working in Afghanistan training security forces. Wilson was killed by those security forces in March of 2012.
Each year, the Wilson family returns to the high school to award a scholarship to a senior lacrosse player, and the team in turn honors the family.
"It's always been really special. They started this the year that we lost Billy," says Kim Wilson.
"Very proud. We're overwhelmed sometimes," says Billy’s dad, Bill Wilson.
"It means a lot that they keep it going. And they help Billy's foundation quite a bit even more than just the game. They help us with different events, and so, they're always very close to us," says Kim Wilson.
This summer, Hopkins Road Park will become the Billy Wilson Park with a new inclusive playground built so everyone can use it. Volunteers are needed for the June 10 community build. You can sign up through the foundation named for Billy Wilson.