• Michigan

South Lyon East stunned by death of junior lineman Trevon Tyler after surgery; ‘The light he brought to everybody is certainly what we miss’

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, December 1, 2019, 10:56 pm

Thanksgiving weekend is always a time to be with family and friends, all the more so when the fabric of that family suddenly has a hole ripped out of it by an inexplicable loss.

Members of the South Lyon East football program needed to be together for mutual support after suffering just such a loss this holiday weekend.

The whole program was in shock the day after Thanksgiving, after finding out that big, fun-loving lineman Trevon Tyler had passed away that morning, from complications stemming from a follow-up surgery to remedy a knee injury that had ended his junior season at the beginning of October.

“It was like a follow-up procedure, I guess. He was feeling really good, and doing very well in his physical therapy and rehab with our trainer. It pretty much just floored all of us that this happened,” East coach Joe Pesci said of the stunning news.

“I’d heard that he developed a pulmonary embolism. … The trainer said that he’d heard that Thursday night, and he passed Friday morning.”

The shocking news was initially relayed to Pesci by line coach Chad Stuckey, who’d gotten a call from Trevon’s family. The head coach quickly rounded up all of his players still in town for the holiday, gathering them in the locker room to support each other in their grief.

“Trevon’s older brother called (Stuckey), and as soon as he hung up with him, he shot me a text right away, and then from there we kind of just started to reach out to everybody else,” Pesci said. “It was … very emotional in the locker room with those guys, just seeing the sadness and the pain on their faces. It shows you just how much they loved him and cared about him, and just how much of a part of his lives that he was.”

The 6-foot-4, 300-pound Tyler played on both lines for the Cougars, starting at both tackle and guard on the offensive line. He’d played as a freshman, but didn’t come out for football as a sophomore, then earned a starting role when he returned to the program this fall. 

“He came back this year, and we were beyond ecstatic that he came back out  — size and athleticism alone, we certainly thought he’d be able to help us,” Pesci said, “and getting this year under his belt and going into next year, he’d have been an anchor for us on that offensive line, and probably had the opportunity to go play in college after his senior year.”

His season ended on Oct. 4, when he tore a meniscus in his knee in East’s 35-14 win over Milford, an injury that he initially had surgery to fix right after the season. 

As much as his physical talents, it will be Tyler’s outsize personality that the Cougars will miss dearly.

“He was (a great kid). Just a big, fun-loving, just very charismatic and caring. Just the happiest kid. Nicest kid. Everyone loved being around him. He always made people laugh. Was willing to talk to anybody, really do anything for anybody. Just that kind of personality,” Pesci said. “The light he brought to everybody is certainly what we miss.”

Staff and students will return to East Monday morning, coming back from the holiday to a very somber school. A white-out has been organized for the day to commemorate Tyler’s passing.

Trees around the South Lyon community will be sporting white ribbons.

The Cougars will carry his memory into next season, as well.

They will certainly “Play for Tre.”

“A lot of the guys have already had some suggestions on different ways we can honor him next year, and we’ll certainly do a helmet sticker for every kid in the program with his initials and number. We’ll probably bring his jersey with us to away games, and have his home jersey on the sidelines with us at every game. We’ll probably do something with the locker he used this past year, as well,” Pesci said. “Just to kind of start off with, and I’m sure kids will come up with some other things that they want to do to honor him in some ways.”

A GoFundMe fundraising account was set up by the football boosters to help Tyler’s family with the unexpected expenses of laying him to rest. As of 11 p.m. Sunday night, it had raised $16,500 of the set goal of $20,000.

To contribute, CLICK HERE.

[Photo courtesy of the GoFundMe page to benefit Tyler’s family.]