The Baltimore City College boys lacrosse team had waited for this. The Knights had practiced hard in hopes of beating Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical in the city championship Monday evening.
The winning trophy was on the sidelines. The Knights' junior captain wasn't.
Missing was Ray Glasgow III, the slim 17-year-old defenseman who toured Hampton University this spring, danced at the prom last week — and was gunned down Saturday outside his old middle school in Southeast Baltimore.
Now, two days later, the 8-3 Knights were taking the field without him.
"We're just going to come out here and compete," City coach Anthony Ryan said. "If Ray was here, he'd be leading us."
They draped his black and orange jersey, No. 10, on the bench. The team managers sat beside it with their stat books and cried.
Their T-shirts showed a smiling Glasgow with angel wings.
All season, the Knights had relied on Glasgow, a speedy two-sport athlete, to clear the ball up the field.
"Before we begin, would you all please join us for a moment of silence," the announcer said.
Police said Glasgow was not the intended target. Commissioner Darryl De Sousa called his killing a tragedy, saying Glasgow was not involved in any sort of criminal activity.
"We believe it was a case of mistaken identity," De Sousa said.
The crowd stood and bowed their heads and hushed. Then the whistle blew and the Division A championship began between the Knights and the Mervo Mustangs, played on the North Baltimore field of Baltimore Polytechnic Institute.
Across town at City Springs Elementary/Middle School, teachers and classmates were releasing a cloud of balloons over the street where the popular teen became the city's 95th homicide victim of 2018. They shouted "We love you, Ray!" as they watched the balloons float away. And then many of them hugged, knelt and sobbed.
Police said Glasgow was shot multiple times. An 18-year-old with him was wounded in the attack shortly after 6 p.m. outside City Springs. Both teens had attended the school.
They were sitting in a car parked on South Eden Street when the gunmen pulled up and opened fire.
Officers published photos of the suspected killer's car, a white Nissan Altima with tinted windows. The search continues for the Altima and its occupants.
De Sousa said three other people were in the car with Glasgow. None were the intended targets, he said.
The Baltimore City Council passed a resolution Monday honoring Glasgow and decrying his tragic death.
City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke called him a "rising star" whose life was cut short.
"He was recognized as an outstanding athlete in football and then taught himself lacrosse," Clarke said. "When he wasn't practicing he was studying. He was an excellent scholar. … This outstanding young man is gone, from our midst and from Baltimore's future."
Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young urged drug dealers to lay down their guns.
"It's a tragedy that our young people are getting gunned down on the streets of Baltimore almost daily, and there's not really much outcry from the public," Young said.
"I'm not advocating for selling drugs. But if you want to sell your drugs, stop the killing," he said. "Just stop the damn killing."
Before the title game, Mayor Catherine E. Pugh said 98 people have been killed in Baltimore this year.
"That's 98 too many," she said. "We got to protect our children."
The slain teen's father called his son "a better me."
"I used to tell him … If I could be anybody in the world, I would want to be him," Ray Glasgow Jr., 35, said. "The sky was the limit for him; he was an unbelievable kid."
Weeks ago, the father and son visited Hampton University, a historically black university in Virginia. It was the teen's top choice for college. He also helped paint homes with his father's company, Glasgow Professional Painting.
Ray Glasgow III had been eager for the rematch with Mervo.
The City Knights lost the regular season matchup 7-5 last month. The rival teams met in the championship for the past two years: City won in 2016; Mervo won in 2017.
They considered postponing the championship Monday. But the Knights, their coach said, wanted to play.
"We want to try and be strong, and play through this tough time, and go out there and compete," Ryan said before the game. "It's easier said than done."
He described Glasgow as the heart of the team.
"Ray got the boys ignited," the coach said. "He got a fire under them."
The teen also played linebacker for City College's football team. He recruited football players for the lacrosse team, and emerged as an on-the-field coach.
Even as the Knights took the field Monday night, their coach didn't know how his team would hold up. Four of his players were juniors with Glasgow.
But minutes into the game, the Knights' Jeremiah James passed to Rodrick Brown, who reached back and shot. And the crowd erupted as City scored the first goal.
About two hours later, the crowd was applauding again as the Knights walked off the field, some of the boys crying, having lost 9-7.
Baltimore Sun reporters Luke Broadwater, Scott Dance, Ian Duncan and Glenn Graham contributed to this article.