updated 6/28/2009 3:18:07 PM ET 2009-06-28T19:18:07

The sons of a high school coach in Iowa who was gunned down last week say they mourned their father privately at the football fields where he held practice.

Coach Ed Thomas' sons, Todd and Aaron Thomas, say they stood at the fields near Aplington-Parkersburg High School and cried in the early morning hours when no one was around.

They say they looked at the pictures, cards and flowers left in the coach's honor.

Thomas was fatally shot Wednesday during a team workout. Authorities have charged 24-year-old Mark Becker, who had played for Thomas, with first-degree murder.

Thomas coached for 34 years in the community about 80 miles northeast of Des Moines and had guided several players to the NFL.

Visitation for Thomas is being held Sunday. His funeral is scheduled for Monday.

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