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Hundreds gather to mourn John Holmes, star Grand Rapids Christian student-athlete who died in crash

Holmes, 18, was committed to play football at Brown University
Posted at 9:46 PM, Jun 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-23 22:22:06-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — At Eagles Stadium Tuesday, hundreds of friends and family gathered to mourn the loss of 18-year-old John Holmes.

Holmes, a star student-athlete at Grand Rapids Christian High School died in a car crash in Ada Saturday night.

His picture and flowers are now hanging outside the football field he shined on.

“John was such a great individual on so many levels. He was a great leader in our community and I think that’s shown by the level of support we are seeing out here tonight,” GRCHS Dean of Student Life and Head Basketball Coach Eric Taylor said.

Holmes was not just a standout athlete, but in the classroom and community as well.

The recent GRCHS grad was heading to play football at Brown University.

"He was going to an Ivy League school to play football but more than that he was a determined young man, it didn’t matter what field he chose he was going to do great things and he was going to impact the world and he was going to use his faith to do that, and we're thankful that we had the chance to know him,” GRCHS Principal Brad Mockabee said.

That thankfulness could be felt throughout the stadium Tuesday, where mourners came together in prayer and to remember their great friend.

“I was coming here talking to my children about loss and grief and my son said ‘John was the one tossing a football with me at practice’ I said yeah so you’ve been impacted by John as well,” GRCHS Head Football Coach Rueben Riley said.

#5 left a positive impact on just about everyone he came across and that will not be forgotten.

“His impact for an 18 year-old is tremendous. He left a footprint on his community especially on our football program, it shows you out there he’ll be sorely missed,” Riley added.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office is still investigating the crash.