HUBER HEIGHTS, Ohio (WDTN) – A celebration of life happened Sunday for number 54 and 66, known to loved ones at Jason Bitsko.
Bitsko’s alma mater, Wayne High School held a vigil and memorial service, after he died unexpectedly Wednesday.
The young man was looking forward to his final season of Kent State football as a senior starter.
Hundreds, many fellow graduates of the class of 2011, gathered to celebrate the young man they called their “king.”
The number 66 aligned the gates behind his old football field, where Bitsko dominated.
54, his Kent State number, lied directly across from his old jersey’s number.
Classmates told 2 NEWS it’s an unbelievable loss.
“We’re still growing up. We have our whole lives ahead of us and to lose Jason over anyone,” explained a teary-eyed Cami Yount, fellow ’11 Warrior and organizer for Saturday’s vigil
‘It’s our king,’ added Theresa Seide, an organizer and classmate.
“Yeah, it’s really hard to lose someone and especially Jason. He was just a part of everyone’s life and he touched everyone’s life that he ever met and people he didn’t even know, he touched their lives and to lose him was just hard,” Yount said.
Yount, along with several other alumni, organized the event to bring their “Prom King” the honor he deserved.
For the class of 2011, Bitsko’s death is the second they’ve mourned in the last 2 years.
Principal Reva Cosby says it’s tough, but her students are strong
“As, you know, we all know, Jason was way too young to dies, but things happen. It makes me feel blessed to be working here and knowing that, you know, I work with such a group of students,” the principal said.
Bitsko’s former basketball coach also spoke with 2 NEWS about the ordeal.
He says it’s not surprising that the young man touched so many lives.
“His people, they know him well enough to know that he would want them to keep pushing forward and to remember his smile and remember the friend that he was,” Travis Trice said.
And while the candlelight went out Saturday evening following the vigil, 2 NEWS is told that the memory of Bitsko lives in a way the Wayne High School and Huber Heights community will never forget.
Bitsko’s father also attended the vigil.
He told the crowd that the coroner’s office has ruled out foul play or any major medical episodes.
A funeral will be held for Jason Bitsko Monday at 1 p.m. at St. Peter’s Catholic Church.
A reception will be held following the burial at the Huber Heights Athletic Center.
All loved ones are welcomed to attend the reception.