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Andrew HS Teen Memorialized at Special Olympics Tournament

Friends came together and volunteered in honor of Matt Kocher, 15, an Andrew High School sophomore who drowned in July 2013. A Special Olympics basketball tournament was renamed in his honor.

John Kocher is surrounded by friends of his late son Matt, who drowned in July 2013. | Credit:  Joan Amadio Donahue
John Kocher is surrounded by friends of his late son Matt, who drowned in July 2013. | Credit: Joan Amadio Donahue
Former Andrew High School sophomore Matthew Kocher volunteered at Richards High School Special Olympics basketball tournament for the last nine years.

It seemed fitting, then, to rename the tournament in honor of the teen—who drowned in a 2013 rip current in New Buffalo, Mich. Friends sported shirts emblazoned with "The Matt Kocher Games" for the Jan. 25 tournament. 

"On Saturday, nine of his best friends honored (Matt) in the finest way: They volunteered at Richards, emulating Matt's example," according to a post on the Richards High School Facebook page.

Parents John and Kathy Kocher have established the Matthew Kocher Scholarship Fund to benefit students at Victor Andrew High School and his junior high. Matt's father John Kocher is a counselor and football coach at Richards. 

The Kocher’s also plan to advocate water safety awareness, volunteerism, and an Adopt-a-Road program in Tinley Park.

“Matt was thinking of doing this as a leadership project,” Kathy Kocher said. “So, now I get to do it in his memory.”

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