I first met Max while scouting high school players in Warroad. I would later get to know him a little better when my son William attended a hockey camp in Warroad. Max was a real good friend to William during that week even though he had never met him; referred to him as his “little buddy.”
A couple of things about Max stood out for me. First is that he was everyone’s friend. He reminded me of my brother Tim; another guy who is a friend to all, old or young.
My youth was a lot like Max’s. When I was his age, I shot ducks in the morning before school, played hockey after school and fished with my dad, winter, spring and summer.
The loss of Max came as a shock to me. It serves as a stark reminder for all of us that people can really mask the internal struggles that they may be having.
We need to continue to learn to “listen for what we don’t hear,” particularly when it comes to the young people in our communities.
I have attached a picture of Max and William from that summer. This is the Max that I will remember.