Sadly, this year at Novi Catholic Central won’t be remembered for the football team’s run to the state championship game, where the Shamrocks lost to Detroit Cass Tech.
Instead, it will go down as the most tragic season in school history, especially after the unexpected death of sophomore linebacker David Widzinski.
Widzinski died in his sleep Sunday night, and his mother discovered him on Monday morning.
Widzinski’s family is still waiting for answers. They told the Detroit News that David had no known health issues, but that an autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday by the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Widzinski broke his hand in Catholic Central’s loss to Cass Tech but finished the game and recorded 16 tackles. Even as a sophomore at a football powerhouse like Catholic Central, Widzinski played key roles at both linebacker and running back for the Shamrocks.
“He broke his hand in that game and played right through it,” his mother told The Detroit News. “All he wanted was to work out and to be with his team, and he wouldn’t even go for an X-ray until Monday night.”
Now the school, in Novi, Mich., about 25 northwest of Detroit, is brought together again, not to cheer the team but to mourn a player and a friend.
“The hearts of our CC community have been tugged in several different and painful directions over this past year,” principal John Huber said in a statement. “We are confident in the prayers, love and support of the greater community, as we have already experienced over this past year.
“We are grateful for the prayers and love of students and families from our fellow Catholic, public and private schools. You are good friends.”
In April, another member of the football team, Tanner Cipriano, was at home when his brother, Tucker, allegedly attacked their family. Tucker has been charged with murdering their father, Robert, and severely beating their mother and another brother. Tucker’s friend, Mitchell Young, also is charged with murder, accused of participating in the attack.
Tanner escaped to another part of the house and called 911, saving his mother and brother from possibly fatal injuries.