BRIDGMAN — Members of the Bridgman High School varsity football team wore special “American Heroes Night” jerseys during their Sept.17 eight-man game against Mendon.
The jerseys included the name of the person being honored for their service in the military, as a first-responder, a health care worker, or in other areas. Following the Bees’ victory (for more, see page D1), players, coaches and managers presented the jerseys to those honorees who were present.
Players and those they honored during American Heroes Night included: Kaeden Lies (David Lies Sr., U.S. Marines, Vietnam); Tyler Schmidtke (Steve Schmidtke, Berrien County Sheriff’s Department); Christian Dinges (Master Sergeant John Robert Beck, U.S. Army retired after 26 years); Reid Haskins (Terry Kilpatrick, U.S. Marines); Logan Milius (Cody Nihil (Bridgman Police Officer); Jayce Warren (Jack Mabry, U.S. Navy, served in the Pacific Theater in World War II, also a former fire chief); Charlie Pagel (Dan Unruh, Bridgman Chief of Police); Tanner Peters (Jim Stempien, firefighter, paramedic, search and rescue team member); Jon Necas (Jason Cleveland, Bridgman police officer); Mathieu Price (Lauren Price, head medical assistant); Harry Siewert (Dayton Siewert, U.S. Army Reserves); Nate Necas (Clarence Necas, fought in the World War II Battle of the Bulge with the 83rd Thunderbolt Infantry Division, received two Purple Hearts and four Bronze Stars); JaQuan Pierce (Duncan Gast, Baroda-Lake Township police officer); Clark Smith (Joel Buist, Bridgman Fire Chief); Travis Locke (Duane Locke, Army National Guard); Nolan Staniszewski (Edward Zellers, U.S. Army Vienam veteran); Nolan Roberts and Brady Roberts (Cliff Roberts, U.S. Navy veteran, served Desert Storm); Riley Gloe (Sgt. Tom LaVanway, Brigman Poice); Justin Kunde (Heather Bakken, nurse); Owen Heath (Gerald Heath, Active Combat Army Reserve, served in Operation Iraqi Freedom); Zach Teed (Detective Sergeant Patrick Teed, Berrien Sorings/Oronoko Police Department); Jose Estebes (Officer Jonathan Foster, Bridgman Police); Drew Neidlinger (Mike Stine, U.S. Army); Kale Brown (Cody Williams, U.S. Marine and police officer); Wade Haskins (Miles Haskins, U.S. Air Force).
Bridgman coaches and team managers honored the following on Sept. 17: Aaron Locke (Dave Dobberfuhl, Vietnam Veteran); Al Ottusch (Josef and Alex Ottusch, U.S. Army and Navy veterans respectively); Erik Haskins (Sam Jones, Wyoming Firefighter); Gerald Heath (Doug Jones, U.S. Army World War II veteran); Cliff Roberts (Bill Boyd Sr., retired Bridgman fire chief); Steve Veldman (Mike Jones, Wyoming firefighter); Matt Mabry (Myron Mabry, U.S. Navy, Vietnam veteran); Sam Waalkes (Julian Rameriz-Torres, U.S. Army Active Reserve, Afghanistan); Will Ott (Tim Ott, U.S. Navy); Joseph Teed (Bill Boyd Jr., Bridgman firefighter); Alex MacMartin Julian and Ali Rameriz-Torres, U.S. Army Active Reserve, Afghanistan).