Harrisonville honors former star football player

HARRISONVILLE, Mo. - The community in Harrisonville came together Friday night to remember a former football player who died earlier this week after complications from a staph infection.

Harrisonville is a tight community, and if you don't know the name Michael Keck, at least you knew the kid with the number 49 on his back was something special.

"God needed a defensive end and now he's got him. Hope he's happy and I hope he's wearing blue and white," Keck's grandmother Charlotte Keck said.

Not only was the 25-year-old a former high school athlete, but also a loving father, husband and grandson.

"It shouldn't be a 25 year old grandson goes before a 75 year old grandmother that's not the way it's supposed to be. Somebody miscalculated somewhere," Keck said.

Local businesses like Doughboys are working to make things add up for the family.

"We are donating 50 percent of the proceeds from a special that we're doing tonight. We thought the family needed help, so it's very good thing people are pulling together to help the family out," Adam Portzen of Doughboys said.

But it all comes back to the Friday night lights where Michael Keck made his mark.

Keck led the Wildcats to several state championships and started his college career at Missouri and eventually transferred to Missouri State.

His high school coach says Michael left his heart on the field

"Mike would go out of his way to give of himself to help someone get better every day, and that's the best thing I could say about him and he's going to be missed," Harrison Wildcats Coach Chuck Lliteras said.

Friday at the game, his grandmother was presented a special gift: a jersey with the number 49 for her favorite Wildcat player.

"He'll be remembered as a really great kid if not as a football player or a dad or a husband or a grandson. He's a really neat kit," Keck said.

Even in death Michael Keck is giving back; he donated his brain to science for concussion research.

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