Although the colors for the Neosho School District have long been black and gold, another color was prominent in the stands during the Neosho home football game on Friday.

Angel Hayes, the Benton Elementary School kindergarten teacher who died almost two weeks ago in an accident while working after school pick-up duty, loved purple and it was her favorite color.

Students were encouraged to don purple Friday night. The color was visible in the student area of the stands and many local residents who attended the game also dressed in purple in Hayes' memory.

Prior to kickoff, a moment of silence was announced to remember Hayes and following it, purple balloons ranging from light violet to deep purple were released.

Football fans watched as the balloons soared high into the blue skies and drifted away on the wind.

A few failed to launch but students picked them as keepsakes of the much admired teacher.