The game on Friday night started with a moment of silence. The stadium came to a standstill to remember two Haslett Vikings. One of them had strong ties to the football team.
"He was one of our best defensive backs on the field. He was a great teammate, you couldn't ask for a better guy to hang around with," said former Haslett football player Adam Rainbolt.
Rainbolt was talking about 23-year-old Micah Magnusson, a Haslett High School football star from the 2006 season. Magnusson suffered a brain bleed the day of his senior open house in 2007, which left him paralyzed and unable to speak. He died on Wednesday after battling the condition for more than five years.
"For the past 5 1/2 years, we've been hoping he would recover and then this happened, this is the end of it. It's kind of hard to swallow," Rainbolt said.
For Magnusson's former teammates and closest friends, the first game of this season was also a time to remember.
"The battle that he gave for the past five years has been an inspiration for his family, for our community and I think he accomplished an incredible amount for a very brief life," said Ben Rizzou.
On Friday, the community also honored another Viking. 16-year-old Emily Rapson suffered a sudden cardiac arrest and died last month. Family and friends say they'll remember the teen for her laugh and warm personality.
"In the beginning of a new football season and the beinning of a new school year we're all going to look to heaven to remember Emily and Micah because they truly were very important people to all of us here in the Haslett community," said Haslett High School Principal Bart Wegenke.