Honorary Marquee matchup
MERRILLVILLE, Ind.-- A LaPorte teenager died from cardiac arrest in football practice this week. Friday night Jake West's team took to the field for the first game without him.
The away stands were very somber and fans were crying at the beginning of the game as they realized there would be one less linebacker playing for LaPorte High School.
Head coach Bob Schellinger said, “I can’t think of anybody that didn’t like Jake. That’s what makes it so hard.”
Autopsy results revealed Jake suffered from heart disease.
In Friday night's football game versus Merrillville High School, both teams wore number 26 stickers on their helmets in Jake's honor.
In a symbol of solidarity for the slicers, Merrillville High School flew a flag with number 26 on it and presented it as a gift to the captains after the game.
Zach Sliwa said, “You never know when your time is up. Our players talked about living every day in life to the last moment.”
Fans united for this grieving school wearing orange and Jake's number. On Sunday a service will be held at Kiwanis Field in LaPorte at 4:30 p.m. to celebrate Jake’s life.