"Seeing his family members in the cars just crying? it was devastating," Jordan Perez, a senior, said.
Thomas Adams loved baseball. By 16, he'd been playing for years already on his travelling team, and for Garfield High School.
The student body stood in the cold to pay their respects to a classmate, lost long before death should have ever touched his young body.
"This was a nearly impossible accident," Father Joseph Lamorte said.
Tommy died Friday in an accident that doctors say rarely ever happens. Even though he was wearing his full protective catchers gear during practice with his Paterson-based team, the ball struck the 16 year old in the chest at the very moment during a heartbeat. That would likely make the impact fatal.
Tommy died at St Joseph's Hospital an hour later.
Father Lamorte offered comfort to family members finding it difficult to even enter St. Gregory Barbarigo in Garnerville, New York for Tommy's funeral.
"As a Catholic community, we have to help console the family through this," he said.
The flag at the high school is at half mast, the marquise remembering Tommy. It reads, "You're always in our thoughts and prayers."