That was Cyrenius "Cy" Menard, those who knew him say.
The 19-year-old football player at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield died when he was ejected in a crash with a tractor-trailer in Bergen County, New Jersey in the southbound lanes of Route 17 in Saddle River late Friday morning, May 6.
Just two weeks ago, Cy announced he'd committed to playing for Sacred Heart University. That Instagram post had nearly 1,500 comments — mainly condolences — and more than 3,600 likes as of Saturday, May 7.
Menard had attended from St. Joseph's Regional High School in Montvale, NJ, before enrolling at St. Thomas More School in Oakdale, in New London County, Connecticut.
"Cy attended STM throughout the first semester of the 2021-2022 school year," St. Thomas More wrote in a Facebook post. "He enrolled at Sacred Heart University in January and was excelling as a student and football player this spring on their campus, just as he did here with us."
Sacred Heart head football coach Mark Nofri said Menard "was a great young man" in a statement posted on Twitter.
"Cy will forever be a member of the SHU football family," Nofri said.
Anthony Galella, one of Menard's youth football coaches with the Bergen County Stars, remembered him as brave.
When he was 10 years old, Menard was too big to play with his team at a national tournament. And so, he played with the 12-year-olds.
"Everyone was in awe of that — how he could handle playing with the bigger kids emotionally and physically," Galella said.
"He had one of those magnetic personalities, an amazing smile. Everybody who knew him loved him and considered him family — he was larger than life."
The BC Stars penned a tribute to Menard, nothing that" the only thing bigger than his stature was his heart."
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