LaPorte Community remembers deceased football player - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

LaPorte Community remembers deceased football player


The flagpole outside LaPorte High School is now decorated with letters and signs remembering Jake West.  Superintendent of LaPorte Community Schools Rande Thorpe said Thursday was a, "Horrendous day for many people."

Thorpe said West collapsed at football practice Wednesday, the school called 911 and then the High School Junior was rushed to the hospital.  "When we arrived at the hospital we were praying for him, we were praying for his family," said Thorpe.

The County Coroner said Jake passed away at the hospital from a right ventricular cardiomyopathy.  It's a form of heart disease in which the wall of his heart had thinned.  The National Institutes of Health said it's a genetic disease that can be difficult to detect.

Now there's a lot of people who want to honor West.  Manager of Magic Sports in LaPorte, Tera Evans, said people came into the store all day Thursday looking for a way to do just that.  "If a customer comes in especially a student or a parent and they want to do something to honor him I've offered to put 26 on the sleeves today for free in his honor."

26 was West's number on the football field.  And as Evans pressed the numbers onto shirts for people she also heard a lot about West.  "A great kid a really great kid, well liked, very popular," said Evans.  She also heard how devastated the community is by his sudden death.  "It's very somber.  I did have a teacher come in today and he said it was probably the quietest day ever in his career at that school."

If you want a number 26 on a shirt just stop by Magic Sports in LaPorte.

There will also be a Celebration of Life to Honor West at Kiwanis Field Sunday at 4:30 p.m.

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