Football Player Killed in Crash

Stanley is mourning the loss of one of their own as a Stanley-Boyd football player was killed Friday night while he was driving to a playoff game.

Now his teammates, friends and family are struggling to cope with the loss.

We spoke with several of Jared Johnson's friends, they say it's a loss they're still trying to understand. But, say they're grieving together, honoring his memory as a community and that is helping them through this tragedy.

It was an unexpected loss..

"It weighed heavy on the guys minds the whole game and on the coaches minds the whole game," Stanley-Boyd Football Coach Jeff Koenig said.

In the midst of level three playoff game, the football team discovered they lost one of their own. Senior offensive lineman Jared Johnson died in a crash while driving to what would have been the final game of his high school career.

"This is, this is a horrible night, it's just the worst news you could get," Stanley-Boyd superintendent Jim Jones said.

"Its a shock to all of the team members," player Greg Ponick said.

Johnson was traveling along Copenhaver Avenue, a gravel road, when he lost control. The Clark County Sheriff's Department says his vehicle then rolled several times, ejecting Johnson from the vehicle.

He was taken to Our Lady of Victory Hospital in Stanley, but later died of his injuries.

"I feel like I've lost a son, but I tell the guys every game I love them win or lose, you probably don't get a lot of football coaches that say that, but it's, it's true," Koenig said.

Friday morning friends, family and teammates gathered at the high school to honor the young man they say was a gifted athlete and respectful student, blessed with a winning humor and smile they'll miss dearly.

Teammate Greg Ponick says it's a loss made tougher by the close ties of the Stanley Community.

"It means a lot to them and to all of us as a team, we're a family, it's like being sons of the Johnson family," he said.

Ponick says after they got the news at halftime, it was a struggle to take the field but they were playing for Jared. He says that's what Johnson would have wanted.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by katie Location: neillsville wi on Aug 1, 2008 at 04:02 PM
    my throughts to the family
  • by Angela Location: Boyd on May 13, 2008 at 06:13 AM
    I believe it is sad that the Stanley school officials will not allow Jared to be remembered at graduation! I pray that somehow they will change their minds and realize that this is important not only for the students and the community, but also the parents of this boy!
  • by Nichole Dahl Location: Stanley-Boyd on May 12, 2008 at 01:58 PM
    Jared was the best kid out there..they say it always happens to the best..but i dont get why he had to be the one to go...he was like part of my family and my brothers best friend..and in my brothers' heart jared always will be his only bestfriend..we lost an amazing guy that night..best wish's out to his family...and his closest friends! jared i love you and always will..ill NEVER forget you!!
  • by Ali Location: Holcombe on Nov 5, 2007 at 12:45 PM
    I didnt know Jared that well but I've talked to him from time to time when walking though the hall from time to time. The little that i did know about him was that he was a great person and hes already dearly missed! Your in our hearts and prayers Jared!
  • by Anonymous Location: Eleva, on Nov 5, 2007 at 12:17 PM
    I know that our community was very shocked by this incident, it's so sad that this happened, his last high school career football game. I hope the best for the school, the friends, and most definately the family. my prayers and thoughts be with you
  • by Darlene Location: Onalaska on Nov 5, 2007 at 09:20 AM
    I was at the Stanley-Boyd game Friday as I have 2 grandsons on the team, Stanley has lost a wonderful young man, my prayers are with the Johnson Family. Jared will never be forgotten.
  • by corey Location: Spooner on Nov 5, 2007 at 08:19 AM
    Everyone from Stanely-Boyd im so sorry about your loss. i never met him but im sure that he was a great person and a good friend. the best thing to know is that all you football players put it all on the line for this one man and that you played the game in his memory. Jared and his family are in my prayers and i hope that you all take this as a sign from god that this kind of stuff can happen to anyone at anytime. Players keep him in your mind forever and everytime you play football remember him.
  • by Lacey Location: Chetek on Nov 4, 2007 at 04:38 PM
    I am a sophomore at Chetek High School and I was indeed at the game on Friday when we heard about Jared. I do not know him but many of my friends and Chetek Fans gathered around the feild goal to pray and hear about Jared and we have been keeping Jared and his family in our prayers at our churches and we have made cards we are keeping them in our hearts are sorry for the loss...
  • by Jonathan Location: Thorp on Nov 4, 2007 at 02:48 PM
    So sad to have a young man die that is so close to whre I live, in Thorp! Are prayers are with his family and friends, and we know that with Christ they'll make it through this. THANK YOU WEAU for being very classy in presenting this devastating news to your viewers; you all have shown genuine concern. I didn't know Jerad but I know people that knew him and he will be missed! God Bless
  • by Alexa Location: Chetek on Nov 4, 2007 at 11:01 AM
    I was at the Chetek StanleyBoyd Football game so i was there when everyone heard the news.. I feel so bad for the family and friends of the loved Jared Johnson... God bless all of you!
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