More than just a football game; Wingers, fans reach out to Austin in memory of Chris Fischer

Published 7:01 am Saturday, September 9, 2017

The Austin football team may have been playing a road game, but the Red Wing captains helped make them feel a little more at home.

The Winger captains decided to make a gesture to honor the memory of Chris Fischer, an Austin freshman football player who passed away recently. The Red Wing student section wore Packer red, the Wingers football team wore red tape on their helmets in honor of Fischer.

“Everyone thinks football is just a sport, but it’s more,” Red Wing junior captain Marcus Walm said. “We’re battling out here, going at each other, people are getting hurt. And it seems like we hate each other. But when you see a team in your conference going through that, it’s more than just a sport.”

A signed banner shows the support the Red Wing Wingers have for Austin as the football and team mourn the loss of freshman football player Chris Fischer. Rocky Hulne/

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The gesture was not lost on the Packers and senior Luke Hawkshead who said it was nice to see a foe lend a bit of relief.

“It’s a real classy move by the Red Wing communnity and it’s something that not a lot of peoople would think of,” Hawkshead said. “It shows what kind of people they are.”

It’s been a tough couple of weeks for the Packer football team, but Austin head coach Brett Vesel was glad that Red Wing stepped up with support on Friday.

That’s pretty impressive on their coaching staff and their school to do that,” Vesel said. “Props to those guys. They were outstanding.”

Red Wing head coach Nate Freir felt it necessary to show the Packers that the Wingers were there for them if they needed any help.

“It was really important for us to do that,” said Freier. “Unfortunately, I went through a very similar situation in my coaching career, so I know exactly what Austin is going through. I talked to the coach and the AD about it earlier in the week. And if they need anything, not just tonight, but going forward, I’m there for them. Because it’s a tough thing for any team, group of kids and community to go through. I really feel for them and hats off for them for competing tonight through a tragedy.”

Kyle Stevens of the Red Wing Republican Eagle contributed to this report.