Maryville (WVLT) - The accident has devastated those who knew the three young men.
Trey Lefler and Cody Bowers were standout athletes at Loudon High School. Cody as the Redskins' quarterback and Trey as one of his receivers. Matthew Lambert's from Rome, Georgia.
Volunteer TV's Mike McCarthy has the latest.
UT Medical Center says Trey Lefler and Matthew Lambert are still in critical condition. They could pull through, but the mourning's already begun for Bowers.
In high school, number 11 shined on the field.
"As a head coach, you never like to get that 1:00 phone call and it's never good," coach Jeff Harig said.
This morning it came. Former Loudon High School standout quarterback Cody Bowers died after a crash on Maryville College's campus. His former teammate, number 2 Trey Lefler, was also in the now-mangled pickup truck. He's in critical condition.
"They were great kids. You couldn't ask for any better," Harig said.
For football players...
"They were undersized, but over achievers," Harig said.
...their 5-foot-8 height couldn't keep them off the field.
"I called Cody Bowers the technician. Everything he did was perfect. Trey was the same way," Harig said.
Both on the field and in the classroom, teachers say they were both straight-A students.
"Popular kids. They were the all-american boys. Both kids were," teacher John Napier said.
John Napier taught Bowers and Lelfer junior year US History.
"I was just shocked, devastated that something like this could happen to such fine people," Napier said.
Bowers traded his Redskins uniform for an Assistant Coaches shirt at Maryville College. He'd just graduated and finished his first year coaching.
"It's a tragic day for Maryville College and our thoughts are prayers go out to the young men involved and their families," Maryville College Athletic Director Randy Lambert said.
Harig says he had talked with Bowers about coming back to Coach on the his home turf where he'd made so plays.
"He said just don't forget about me because I want to move back here. It's just a tragic situation," Harig said.
A tragic situation that's taught his former high school coach a lesson.
"What we have to do as adults is make sure kids know your moment could come at any moment and you need to make sure you're doing the right thing at all times," Harig said.
Trey's dad is an assistant basketball coach at Loudon High School. They canceled their game so he could be here with his son.
Coach Harig says Cody and Trey gave him one of his favorite football seasons. That was their senior year when they led the team to the state quarter finals.