Miller's No. 28 will be on Lancer sidelines
Mario Miller would be heading into his senior year of football tonight for the La Crescent High School.
But No. 28 won't be running onto the field. Miller passed away July 20, after battling cryptogenic organizing pneumonia for nine months.
It was a condition that forced him onto the transplant list for both his lungs and his heart. Doctors never did find Miller a donor.
At first Miller thought he had a common cold. When it didn't get better, doctors throught it was maybe Asthma.
Then he collapsed during a football game early last year. Days later his lung collapsed and doctors finally figured out what was wrong. Days after that, the other lung collapsed as coach Brad Groth explains.
"It was the next week, then, that he was air lifted to Rochester," Groth said. "Then it all started sinking in like, 'Holy crap, what's going on here?'
"He had to be air lifted. Then, a week and a half later, we're going to Plainview and his brother is getting texts on the bus about emergency surgery and he's going on life support. It was just a crazy ride. Luckily, we were playing in Plainvew and we could get his brother off the bus and onto the school van so he could get to Rochester."
La Crescent will rest Miller's No. 28 jersey on the bench during all its games this year, along with, again, wearing a sticker on their helmets with Miller's name and number.
The high school did its best to keep Miller involved and up to speed, while he was in the hosptial, last year.
Groth isn't sure if his passing will be harder on the team this year, now that he's gone, as compared to last.
"There was such hope that he would have gotten his heart and lung transplant," Groth said. "Then in May, he had gotten taken off the list. And, after he was taken off the list, everyone kind of knew. So, I think everyone kind of prepared themselves that way."
La Crescent has its work cut out for it tonight, hosting the defending state champions, Caledonia.
In going unbeaten last season, Caledonia outscored its opponents 497-0 in the first half of all its games. The Warriors won state 40-0 over Pipestone.
You can listen to Caledonia at La Crescent here on Classic Hits 94.7 FM.
Video streaming on AM 580 WKTY will be Central (1-1) at West Salem (2-0).
Onalaska (2-0) at Holmen (1-1)
Logan (1-1) at Tomah (1-1)
Sparta (2-0) vs. Aquinas (1-1) at UW-La Crosse
River Valley at Arcadia
Onalaska Luther at Dodgeville
Richland Center at G-E-T
Black River Falls at Lancaster
Westby at Platteville
Prairie du Chien at Viroqua
Melrose-Mindoro at Augusta
Lincoln at Blair-Taylor
Independence/Gilmanton at Eleva-Strum
Cochrane-Fountain City at Whitehall
Cotter at Plainview-Elgin-Millville
Houston at Randolph
Lanesboro at Grand Meadow
Lyle/Pacelli at Spring Grove
LeRoy-Ostrander at Mabel-Canton
Blooming Prairie at Rushford-Peterson
Medford at Lewiston-Altura
Winona at Rochester Century
Family must be in Central High school district
The Coulee Region Chill hockey team is looking for a host family for a player during the upcoming season, but there is a slight catch.
The family needs to be in the school district of Central High, so he can finish his senior year.
Players for the Coulee Region Chill report to practice next week. Hosting a player, not all that complicated - have a bedroom for the player and cook some meals, essentially.
"I always tell the families it doesn't have to be organic or anything like that, just they can't live on pizza and chicken nuggets," Chill housing director Shelly LaPlount said.
She added the family will get a monthly stipend for groceries and being a hockey fan isn't required, though the sport might grow on you.
"Over the past year, I've really expanded to non-hockey families and they just love coming to the games, rooting their player that lives in the house and they love the atmosphere," LaPlount said.
With Central starting school today, LaPlount would like to get a family ASAP.
For more information, click here.