No stranger to heartache, Michigan Center community bands together after latest tragedy

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JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – The greater-Jackson community is mourning the loss of three young men who all went to Michigan Center Schools.

Dawson Brown, Kole Sova and Richie Mays represented the best of Michigan Center according to those who knew them, and now their family and friends will be left to carry on their legacies.

The loss of these three young men is just the latest tragedy to hit this town in the last few years.

Those from Michigan Center likely know the Browns, Sovas and Mays.

It’s a tight-knit community where everyone knows everyone.

“I was texting my sister and I think her exact words were ‘why does this keep happening to us? Why do things keep going on with people we love, people we’ve known our entire lives,” said Boomer Perry, a Michigan Center graduate who lost his mother.

Tragedy once again struck the community on Thursday when five young men were found unresponsive in a trailer at Faster Horses, a country musical festival held in Brooklyn, Michigan.

The three who died, Brown, Sova and Mays, were all graduates from Michigan Center High School. They all died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

“If you lose one … important piece to your community it’s difficult. To have three?  This is … this has been a challenge,” said Michigan Center football coach Troy Allen.

This community is no stranger to tragedy. Four years ago, Boomer Perry lost his mom to cancer. Two years ago, the school’s quarterback Roger Hayward was in critical condition after a car crash.

This tragedy is a reminder of what this community has already suffered through. But it’s also a reminder of the support they receive.

“Anyone who is in Michigan Center now can feel it for sure at this moment. It’s insane how many people are willing to step in, willing to help out,” said Perry.

Brown, Sova, and Mays were all selected as captains on the football team by their classmates.

“Kole, if he ran for President, he’s got my vote. Dawson, he was electric. A four-year starter. he’s better looking than me, much better smile. sometimes as a coach, it was just about getting him the ball, sit back and let him do his thing. Richie was my grinder. Tough as nails, he was the kid you knew cared more than anybody else,” Allen said.

How does this community plan to move forward? By doing what they’ve always done.

“We are Michigan Center Cardinals. And it’s a slogan, but it’s more about raising people to be great people. These guys’ futures were so bright. They are like the epitome of the Cardinal way,” said Matt Desmarais, a football and baseball coach at Michigan Center.

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