David Foster loved to make people laugh. And he was usually responsible for the chuckles.
That’s the lasting memory Foster’s friends, teammates and coaches say they will forever keep.
“He was always happy,” said sophomore Kaleb Poynter. “He always had a smile on his face.”
David was killed in a single-car accident Saturday night one mile east of Houston on Highway B, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. He was 18 and had graduated from Houston High School just two weeks earlier.
David developed many close relationships with his peers at HHS, especially on the baseball team. His friends said he never met a stranger.
“No matter what day you met him on, Dave was the guy that everybody loved,” said senior Dalton Wilson, one of David’s closest friends. “I can’t think of anybody that didn’t get along with him. He always cheered up the room, no matter what.”
Kyle Poynter experienced Foster’s friendliness this year when he transferred to Houston from Lebanon. He sat beside David in nutrition class, and said he was the first student to introduce himself and be friendly.
“He was a really likeable guy,” Poynter said. “He really made you feel welcome.”
David enjoyed many things in life – playing X-Box, texting friends, working on his Corvette and being around the family horses. He also loved goofing off.
He and Wilson kept things interesting in the stands with their wild outfits at basketball games. Whether it was oversized sunglasses or dressing as presidents, they always arrived in hilarious apparel. For the final game of the season, the duo wore low-cut jean shorts, cowboy boots and plaid shirts that were tied above their belly buttons, exposing their midriffs.
“We wore just the most random assortment of clothes we could find in our closets,” Wilson said. “We couldn’t stop laughing when we first saw each other.”
David played football and basketball in high school. But his biggest love was baseball. He was a four-year member of the Tigers and one of three seniors on this year’s team. He recently committed to play college baseball at Westminster, where he was going to be roommates with fellow senior David Weybright.
He was buried Wednesday in his baseball uniform with his glove, car keys and iPod inside a red casket. His teammates also signed a baseball for him.
David’s closest friends from the team – both past and present – were his pallbearers, and The Diamond Club purchased 100 bracelets that read “In Memory of Foster 23.” One was placed on David’s left wrist.
Houston baseball coach Brent Hall said he will take David’s No. 23 uniform out of circulation for the near future. Maybe forever.
“He loved the game,” Hall said. “He exemplified everything I always told the kids about loving the game and being dedicated to it.”
David had one of the most memorable moments of the 2009 season when he struck out a career- and team-best 14 batters against Seymour. When he wasn’t pitching, he started in left or right field.
David returned to the football team his junior season and was second on the team in receptions. A back injury limited him to four games his senior year, but it didn’t dampen his spirits. He continued to come to every practice and game.
Houston football coach Chris Edwards said David continued to have an impact without playing.
“It says a lot about who he was to continue to come to practice and be on the sidelines on Friday nights when he couldn’t play,” Edwards said. “He was always smiling and laughing.
“His smile is something I will always remember.”
Hall said Foster played an important role on the field and was just as vital in the dugout by keeping his teammates loose. He put a smile on several players’ faces when he pranced around and high-fived them as he was introduced for the district championship game.
Kyle Poynter said one of his lasting images of David was his pregame ritual. He would drop his pants in the dugout – exposing his rear end – to put Icy Hot on his back.
“His teammates loved him,” Hall said. “When you’ve got a team, you’ve got people at each other’s throat and at odds sometimes. I don’t think there was a kid on the team that disliked him.”