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Forrest Keys' HS coach reacts to his death on campus at UArizona

Posted at 10:31 PM, Feb 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-23 10:18:26-05

LOWER MORELAND TOWNSHIP, Penn. (KGUN) — Forrest Keys graduated from high school in 2019.

He went to Lower Moreland High, just north of Philadelphia.

"I had to excuse myself because I could feel my hands getting cold and my knees starting to get weak and I had to sit down."

Justin Beck described the moments that followed the news Forrest was killed in Arizona.

Beck was Forrests' football coach and his social studies teacher.

"We had a pretty special, multi-year, multi-dimensional relationship."

He said he grew into the position of head coach just as Forrest was growing into a top athlete on the varsity football team, he called it an alignment of the stars.

"The parts of Forrest that I get to keep forever, that are really just his legacy with me will be his tireless commitment to his team."

Beck said Forrest was a model leader on that team and a model classmate at his school.

"He was unanimously selected as a captain of our football team and wherever he was, kids wanted to be," Beck said.

"He's the kind of guy that he made everybody else better."

There was a somber feeling on Monday back at Lower Moreland High, Beck said.

"Today was really a day of grieving, there was just a tone of how unfortunate and how tragic it is to have lost such a beautiful person so early in his journey."

A life cut short impacting the high school where Forrest graduated and still holds multiple football records.

Beck said he's been in touch with Forrests' parents.

"I have had some contact with the family, and they're just destroyed by this."

A memorial is expected to honor his memory, Beck said, at the school he called home before his life ended as a UArizona Wildcat.