Local Little League team honors boy's best friend, killed in Oklahoma tornado

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. - From Moore, Okla., to Blue Springs, Mo.: The connection to the deadly tornado is incredibly painful for one local family.

Eric Tupin and his family's old home is demolished, along with much of his former neighborhood and what used to be his children's school.

"My kids went to Plaza Towers, so this really hit home for a lot of reasons," Tupin said.

He immediately worried about friends back in Moore, where his family lived for five years. Initially Eric heard one girl in particular survived the storm.

Nine-year-old Sydney Angle was his son Zack's best friend.

"They were so much alike. They really are. They're just silly," Tupin said.

Sydney was inside Plaza Towers Elementary School when the storm struck. The day after the tornado, Tupin got the news that Sydney had died. He spent the day trying to figure out how to tell Zack.

He recalled breaking the news to his 7-year-old son.

"'Remember how we thought Sydney was okay?' And then he just stopped and looked at me and he said, 'She's gone isn't she?' I said, 'Yeah buddy, she is.' And he just fell into my arms and cried for a long time," Tupin said.

"She was one of my best friends," Zack told 41 Action News.

Sports brought the two together. That's why Zack's little league team -- the Irish -- honored Sydney with her softball team's colors of yellow and purple. They also wore the number 35, which was on Sydney's uniform.

Zack wishes he could see his friend again.

"I miss you. Because I haven't gotten to see her since ... a long time," Zack said.

The Tupins are preparing to travel to Oklahoma for Sydney's funeral on Monday.

On top of losing their daughter, Dan and Nicole Angle also lost their home. A relief fund has been set up for the Angle family. For more information, go to http://on.fb.me/Z4gIP7

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