ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — 16-year-old Mason Hada was killed in a car crash on Thursday. A football player at East High School, Mason would have been getting ready for his first varsity game today, as the E-Rabs take on Belvidere North.

Mason’s father, Leroy Hada, said he wants his son to be remembered for his kind heart, describing him as someone who would always put others in his life first.

“He was 16, just turned 16 on July 8th. I went with him. He made sure I was up at 6 that morning to take him to get his drivers license,” Hada recalled. “He was, by far, the most caring, giving, unselfish, loving person anyone could ever want to be around.”

Hada described Mason as someone who loved his parents and his eight siblings to the fullest.

“He was our drive. He was our backbone,” he said.

Mason was going to start his Junior year of high school at Rockford East. He loved wrestling, but his true passion was football, Hada said.

“This kid was talented. He was talented at everything he did. He wrestled, he State-wrestled. He played football,” he said.

The last person Mason spoke to before the crash was his father.

“So, when I called, I could tell. It was over the Bluetooth, and then all of a sudden it just stopped. And then, boom, I heard it. I heard the glass break and I heard the squealing. I kept calling him. He didn’t answer,” Hada said.

“Then, I get there and everything is complete chaos. The ambulance had to cut my boy out of the car.”

Hada said he hopes his son is remembered for his kind heart.

“It’s never going to go away. It might get a little easier over time, but it’s never going to go away. We just have to deal with it. We have to live with it,” he said.

The family is asking that anyone who knew and loved Mason to wear their E-Rab gear to Friday’s game against Belvidere North.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help with funeral expenses.