Stephen Anderson, Army’s two-year football captain, is still in denial.
One of Anderson’s teammates had his life taken away far too early.
Mario Hill, a two-year starting cornerback and 2010 West Point graduate, died in a single-car accident early Saturday (May 5) morning in Lexington, Ky.
“I was just tweeting with him the other day,” Anderson told Army senior Bill Prosko, who passed along the sad news Saturday afternoon.
“It was a hard thing to take in because Mario is a brother (to me),” Anderson said. “He was one of those guys, who made people around him feel better. It was not just on the field but more importantly off the field. He had that ability to impact others in a positive way. Not just positive sometimes, but always. I don’t ever, ever remember recalling a time when I heard any negative influence coming from Mario. It feels surreal just talking about it. I feel like I’m just describing how he is and realistically how he was. It’s hard.”
Anderson said Hill, 25, never let the rigors of West Point get to him. He was always positive.
“That’s the one thing that I’m always going to remember about him,” Anderson said. “He had his bad days but in his bad days he seemed happier than most people in their good days…Possibly God wanted to take him. God works in mysterious ways and I know Mario is definitely going to be knocking on the Golden Gates. When we had down times as a team, that’s one of the things he was able to do is make us realize that it’s fun being out here with everybody.”
Collin Mooney, a former Army fullback and 2009 graduate, will always remember Hill’s infectious smile.
“He always had a great attitude,” Mooney said. “He was a hard worker and he also had a playful side. He was a really great character guy. He had the charisma and people wanted to be around him.”
Hill started 24 straight games (2008-09) for Army. He made 67 tackles, knocked down 14 passes and had two interceptions.
Anderson said Hill was medically discharged from the Army after his graduation because of a heart murmur.