GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) – Two rival hockey teams united on Saturday to honor Ryan Fischer, an all-state Grandville athlete who died suddenly last year.
Fischer passed away from an enlarged heart the same day the two teams were scheduled to face off in the state semifinals. After the Grandville Bulldogs lost last year, players from Detroit’s Catholic Central team embraced the West Michigan players and joined them in prayer.
“I think fortunately for us, we played the team we needed to be playing that day,” said Roni Fischer, Ryan’s mother.
On Saturday, exactly 11 months since Ryan’s passing, the two teams reunited for the inaugural Ryan Fischer Legacy Scholarship Classic.
Prior to the first period, the Shamrocks presented Roni and Scott Fischer with an honorary jersey for their son’s legacy as well as funds donated to the Ryan Fischer Legacy Fund.
Roni Fischer told WZZM 13 Saturday’s game was about celebrating her son’s life and the joy he spread to all who knew him. It was also a chance to reunite with her new family from Detroit Catholic Central.
“They do feel like family,” she said. “I was speaking with them earlier today and I truly feel like we will stay connected with them for a very long time to come.”
A portion of tickets sold for the classic and Saturday night’s Griffins game will go towards the Ryan Fischer legacy fund.