By Erika Greco
On Friday, March 7, the world lost a 17-year old hero. Ryan Fischer, of Grandville High School, died in his sleep due to an enlarged heart. He was a brother, son, student, teammate and friend whose goal in life was to serve his country.
Fischer was a dedicated athlete and leader to his teammates as co-captain of the hockey team, captain of the football team, and a member of the student-athlete council for the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA).
He was to attend the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he planned to study aerospace engineering in the fall.
A three-year member of the hockey team, Fischer served four years on the school’s Leadership Team and was on his church’s youth leadership council. He was a member of Grandville High School’s student government. He was selected to the U.S. Military Academy Summer Leadership Experience and the U.S. Naval Academy Summer Seminar after his junior year.
“Ryan was everything to the community…closest example I’ve seen to perfection in my short 18 years. He was what a kid our age strives to be. His examples through sports, academics, and personality is something we should all look up to,” stated friend and student Myles Anderson. “If everyone strived to be more like Ryan, the world would be completely changed for the better.”
He passed away the night before the semi-final hockey game against Novi Detroit Catholic Central. The Grandville hockey team chose to continue on to play in the State Division 1 game and honor the passing of their captain. Fans piled in from everywhere to honor Fischer with his number 11 plastered on t-shirts, posters and painted on faces to pay tribute.
The game may have been in defeat with a final score of 3-0 but what concluded the game was no loss. As the final buzzer sounded at Compuware Arena, the Grandville team experienced a host of emotions. The hard-hitting and ruthless opposing team (CC) skated over to join them in prayer for their fallen captain.
Ryan’s passing truly brought the community together. An overflow of crowd attended Fischer’s funeral on Wednesday, March 12 at St. Pius X Catholic Church.
A new scholarship in Fischer’s honor has been announced. It will be awarded every year to the Ottawa-Kent Conference hockey player “whose character, determination, integrity and academic achievement and community service best resembles the life Ryan lived.”