Knoxville (WVLT) It was a sad return this morning to Halls Middle School.
Especially for seventh graders and those who knew Bert Weaver.
The vibrant 13-year old, died Saturday afternoon as a result of being hit by a vehicle while crossing East Emory Road on his way to Halls' Friday night football game.
Volunteer TV's Jim Freeman was on hand as students arrived this morning
Losing a best friend is never easy, especially when you're on the doorstep to your teenage years.
The traffic, students heading to their first class, memos posted on the school sign; it almost seemed like a typical day at halls middle.
A look at this corner quickly clues you in that it's not.
Just before the morning bell, another memorial was hung on the fence near where Bert was struck.
Some of his closest friends are doing their best to cope with the sudden loss of the much loved youngster who wore jersey number nine for the football team.
"Everybody knew him in the school, and it's going to be really hard for everybody especially Phillip," says Caytee Tackett, a friend of Bert's.
"Everytime that somebody said anything about me or him in the hallway, we defended each other, and it's going to be hard to go back to school and being able to face everything without him," said Phillip Durham.
Family and friends will gather at the Mynatt Funeral Home Halls Chapel Thursday from five until eight to pay their respects to Bert Weaver.
Services follow at eight.
Interment will be Friday at 11 am at the Anderson-Gouffon Cemetery on Tazewell Pike.
Bert's mom, Donna, tells us that Bert will be laid to rest next to a beautiful tree.