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Unity Christian remembers former star athlete

Memorial planned for former Unity Christian star athlete
Posted at 7:34 PM, Feb 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-21 19:48:37-05

HUDSONVILLE, Mich. — Unity Christian High School is inviting its class of 2019 and friends to remember a former star athlete who died this weekend.

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office says 19-year-old TJ VanKoevering passed away Saturday after striking a power pole while snowmobiling late Friday.

The crash’s cause is still under investigation, but there were no other passengers or snowmobiles involved. VanKoevering was not wearing a helmet, according to police.

“As a student at Unity, TJ was a kind and compassionate young man, always willing to offer a helping hand or encouraging word,” said Unity Christian in a statement to FOX17. “As an athlete, TJ was a fierce competitor helping lead both his football and basketball teams to State Championships in his senior year.”

VanKoevering earned a reputation as a standout athlete, helping the school earn two state titles during the 2018-19 school year.

After graduating in 2019, the school says VanKoevering worked in construction in the area.

“As a young Christian, T.J. committed his life to a relationship with Jesus Christ, seeking to follow Him in all areas of life,” said Unity Christian. “T.J.’s death is a tragic loss for our community, but he leaves a legacy of kindness, compassion, and faith for all who knew and loved him. He will be greatly missed.”

Unity Christian will open up its worship center to those who would like to celebrate VanKoevering’s life on Monday, Feb. 22 from 7-9 p.m.