His shoes. His helmet.
And of course his jersey.
No. 30 is on display, behind glass, with a light breaking through a dark locker much like No. 30 used to break through tackles.
Hunter Pearson’s locker inside the Columbia River football team’s locker room is now a memorial.
“He was worthy of being honored that way,” Columbia River coach Christian Swain said, noting he is hoping the display gives his players the same feeling he has when he looks at it.
“I hope it will be good for them to see him every day, maybe bring some comfort to the locker room,” Swain said.
Pearson, the heart and soul of the team as a senior last fall and a wildly popular student for being quiet, sincere, gracious and encouraging, died May 27 in a drowning accident.
Pearson had five 100-yard rushing performances in his final season with the Chieftains and was a preferred walk-on to play football at Utah State.
Yes, he was that good, but his coach will remember him for so much more.
“He was a better person than he was a football player,” Swain said.
“He was very unselfish. He had no entitlement at all,” the coach added. “At an age when kids are getting more and more entitled, he did not possess any of that.”
While the school has not yet officially retired Pearson’s number – those plans are in the works – Swain knows no one will wear it while he is the coach.
In fact, he knows where all three of Pearson’s No. 30 jerseys are, and each has a special home. One is with Hunter’s parents, Swain said. The other is in the locker. And the third will eventually be displayed in the school.
“He was that special,” Swain said. “He was just a special kid.”
The Freedom Bowl Classic, an all-star game which allows recent graduates from Southwest Washington to play one final football game in Clark County, is Saturday at McKenzie Stadium. Swain is the coach of the West team. He said he will honor Pearson during halftime, but is not yet sure if it will be a public statement or a private moment with the Pearson family.
Regardless, Hunter Pearson’s name will always be remembered at Columbia River.
“He was such a tremendous kid, I want to save his legacy here,” Swain said.
The special locker display, which also includes his gloves, a water bottle, and some photos of him in action, is one of the first steps toward that mission.