Permanent memorial to Jake West, forever a Slicer, unveiled at Kiwanis Field

LPHS Principal Ben Tonagel speaks.

The memorial.

Former LPHS football coach Bob Schellinger, who was Jake’s coach, raises a Slicer glass to him as Jake’s mom, Julie West-Schroeder, listens.

Julie West-Schroeder talks about her son and his legacy.

Emotional supporters hold Slicer-colored balloons to be released as they listen to speakers.

Balloons are released in Jake’s honor …

… and float to the sky above Kiwanis Field.

WNLP photos by Bob Wellinski (click to enlarge)

Family, friends, school officials and community members gathered Tuesday evening, July 11, 2017, to witness the unveiling of a permanent memorial to LaPorte Slicer Jake


West. Jake, a football and lacrosse player, died of an undetected heart condition at Kiwanis Field after a football practice in September 2013. And it is at Kiwanis where the memorial to No. 26 stands.

The passing of Jake, a kind and fun-loving young man with an ever-present smile, inspired his family and friends to form the Play for Jake Foundation (, which has provided and continues to provide free heart screenings for thousands of youths to check for heart conditions that would not be discovered during routine physicals.       

The memorial unveiling, which took place on Jake’s 21st birthday, reminded all present that — as stated by LPHS representatives — “he epitomized all that it means to be a Slicer.”

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