Syracuse High honors Whatcott brothers killed in plane crash

Posted at 10:32 PM, Dec 30, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-31 00:35:16-05

SYRACUSE, Utah -- Two Utah brothers died in a plane crash this past July when their single-engine cessna went down about 25 miles southwest of St. George.

Nineteen-year-old Daulton Whatcott was flying his 16-year-old brother Jaxon to a basketball tournament in Las Vegas.

Tuesday night, the Syracuse High School Basketball team honored the brothers.

"That's what he wanted to be, that's what he loved. His senior year at basketball he said his dream job was to be a pilot for an NBA basketball team," said the boys’ father Rhett Whatcott.

Daulton and Jaxon were both very skilled basketball players. Rhett Whatcott also shared a love for the game but after he lost his sons, he never thought he could step back on the court again.

"It's a nightmare. I think anybody who has a child can imagine the pain of losing one, so it's a nightmare times two," Rhett Whatcott said.

His sons shared a deep passion for basketball and their father helped mentor them on the court.

Just months after their deaths, the Syracuse High basketball team the Titans, asked Rhett Whatcott to be their assistant coach.

Rhett Whatcott said it's the support from the community and stories about his sons that keep him going.

The two teens were honored in a ceremony at the high school on the basketball court.

Their jerseys, number 5 and 50 are now framed in remembrance and bracelets that say #SyracuseStrong were being sold at Tuesday night's game. The community wears them proudly.

"It's been a tragedy for our community and we got bracelets after the accident. It's very hard. It's a big void in our family, it's just hard," said Keri King, who is a family friend.

Rhett Whatcott said the pain from losing his sons still lingers. It doesn't get easier, but the support from his friends and family and the Titans does make it better.

"The kind of kids that loved life, they did a lot with a lot of friends, I think their lasting legacy is really about the way they treated others. A lot of stories about how they smiled to others, always had a kind word. They were just great to other people and I think that's the real lasting legacy that everyone remembers," Rhett Whatcott said.

All the bracelets being sold go to a fund to help pay for scholarships for student athletes. Dalton and Jaxon left behind their parents, an older brother and a younger sister.

To learn more and donate to the scholarship fund, you can find them on Facebook: