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Detroit C.C. graduate honored, remembered at C.C.-Brother Rice football game

By: Ben Szilagy, September 25, 2016, 11:46 am


Berkley — The Detroit Catholic Central community has been in a state of mourning all week after they learned that Mitch Kiefer, who graduated in May, died on Sept. 19 as he made his way to class at Michigan State University.

According to the Ingham County Sheriff’s office, the Northville native and former C.C. hockey player, was driving westbound on I-96 around 8 a.m. when he was rear ended near Dietz Road, causing him to cross the median. Kiefer’s car then collided with a truck hauling an empty horse trailer traveling eastbound.

The driver who caused the initial collision in the westbound lanes was transported to hospital for minor injuries and the driver of the truck was treated at the scene.

“It breaks our hearts, but as administrators and Basilian fathers we needed to show our support to those close to him,” school president, Father John Huber, said. “Our kids always surprise us because as much as we minister to them, they also minister and help us.”

Fr. Huber celebrated and spoke the Homily at Kiefer’s funeral at Our Lady of Victory in Northville on Saturday morning, and attended to matters at the cemetery afterwards, where not only Kiefer will rest, but Catholic Central’s David Widzinski, former football player, and Peter Halash, a former hockey player, are buried as well.

Halash, 19, died in a car crash two years ago, and Widzinski, 16, died three years ago of natural causes.

The tombstones were adorned with hockey sticks and other symbols as were those of Widzinski and Halash as well.

“Peter’s parents and David’s father was there to offer support, and we shared those grave sites as well,” Fr. Huber said. “We all appreciate the symbols that were left behind by friends and loved ones.

“Those symbols help us think about good memories, and our kids celebrate that.”

Before the football teams at Catholic Central and Brother Rice played on Saturday at Hurley Field in Berkley, both teams met for a moment of silence in Kiefer’s honor. That would have been more than enough support, but there was something more; a symbol of support and unity between rivals.

Not only did Brother Rice’s student section hang a banner that bore Kiefer’s name adorned with a roman cross and both school’s logos, the Brother Rice athletic community also signed a blue banner that hung on the Catholic Central sideline with each Brother Rice player’s signature accompanying it.

“We couldn’t be more thankful for the Brother Rice team for doing that for us, and it was touching to see a sign on their sideline as well. It’s always important to remember that even though we’re rivals on the field, we’re a family off of it,” Huber said.

“They’re a class act. They’ve been good to us through every tragedy we’ve gone through, and we appreciate their support.”