Good Samaritan flies players across state for football game

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RAVENNA, Mich. (WOOD) — It was a sure-fire case of too much to do, too little time.

The predicament at hand for five Kent City High School student-athletes: a state band competition in Detroit at 10:30 a.m. Saturday — and a district final football game in Ravenna at 1 p.m.

After host-team Ravenna wouldn’t change the game time due to their own scheduling conflicts, it looked like the players would be late to the field — and maybe hard-pressed to make it at all. That is, until a complete stranger turned good Samaritan stepped up.

“I saw the news article on News 8, and I thought, ‘well what a shame.’ Cause I have three teenage boys all in high school with all the sporting events,” the good Samaritan, who asked that his name not be used, told 24 Hour News 8 Saturday.

So, he offered to fly the kids across the state in his private plane.

After a mad-dash of a morning for the students — march in the band, get in a car, and get to the plane — they landed at the Sparta airport with just 15 minutes until game time.

The players thanked the Hudsonville pilot and quickly hopped in a car. They made it to the standing-room only game minutes after kickoff.

“I think it kind of reaffirms your faith in your fellow man – that there’s people out there willing to do something just for the sake of doing it, and doing a good deed,” Mike Weiler, superintendent for Kent City Community Schools, told 24 Hour News 8 at the game.

Kent City would lose the hard-fought district final game, 20-7. But behind a huge crowd of supporters, it was about much more than a score – and much more than football was at play.

It was a lesson of giving learned outside the classroom and off the field — all thanks to the humble hero who made it all happen.

“If God gives you the resources to do things, you’re supposed to pay it forward,” the pilot said. “And it was a really easy thing for me to do. Most pilots are looking for an excuse to go flying — and this just happened to be one with a good purpose.”