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Banner for West

By James Fillmore
Published On: Dec 24 2013 07:55:10 AM CST
Updated On: Sep 27 2013 09:51:42 PM CDT

Students make a banner for Jake West and LaPorte.

September 27, 2013 -

LAPORTE COUNTY, Ind.-- LaPorte and New Prairie are big rivals but they put that aside after the death of 17-year-old Jake West.

Students from New Prairie High School made a banner and brought it to LaPorte to give to West's family and teammates.

Junior Chase Keller says, "The banner was split up into three sections. On the top section we have a whole bunch of signatures and in the middle it says dear Slicers at our house our thoughts and prayers are with you and then on the bottom we also have more signatures."

More than 300 people signed the banner and wrote messages to West and his loved ones.

Once the banner was finished a group of students took it to Laporte High School to present it to west's family and others.

Senior Emily Lau says, "It was really emotional. I cried a lot. it was very sad at the same time happy knowing that his story could make a difference between like not just his school but our school."

Jake West was running laps on Kiwanis Field Wednesday when he collapsed and later died.

The coroner says preliminary autopsy results show West died after suffering cardiac arrest from a genetic defect.

Student Lexis Williams says, "We were almost celebrating his life with all of the signatures and all of the 300 signatures that everyone had come and signed. It was just absolutely amazing. it was one of those moments that I will never forget."

New Prairie showed its support in many other ways too.

Some girls wore orange ribbons in their hair while others made ribbons for people to wear on their shirts.

One of new prairie's varsity football players says he was a friend of Jake's and the two occasionally hung out together.

They had more than that in common.

Dylan Pflughaupt plays varsity football for New Prairie and he says, "We're both number 26. We're both middle linebackers and we both had the same job so we had a lot to talk about. it was a privilege. I'm going to be wearing the number 26 for him and not for me anymore."