Aloha All American Michael Lopez Passes As Thomas Tyner Takes Center Stage
byDirk Knudsen| Posted on Thursday, January 3rd, 2013
It is hard to imagine living with the deadly and debilitating disease ALS for almost 20 years. No one has ever made it that far. Go figure that Michael Lopez Junior was the guy who did.
Michael Lopez Junior passed away today and will be greatly missed. And All American form Aloha High school his battle with ALS was remarkable.
The Aloha High School Warrior and Oregon State Beaver Great lost his battle with the disease; commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He passed away quietly early today with his parents by his side according to his family friends.
Michael was the most famous Aloha Warrior of all time by most accounts. He was fierce. He was a leader and a beloved team mate. This was the one guy that no one doubted would take this battle on and win. But even he as tough as he was could not fight it.
What Mike leaves behind is a terrific legacy of his sports excellence. Far beyond that is his amazing legacy as the Founder of Team Cure ALS Foundation. Mike fought his illness while taking extraordinary measures to raise awareness and funds to find a cure for the very thing that waskillinghim.
Michael was an All American all the way as a Player in High School and College. His work as a Coach was well documented. He is the son of Legendary Head Coach Mike Lopez Senior.
Saturday All American Aloha Warrior Thomas Tyner steps into the limelight in his last High School Performance at The US Army All American Bowl. As he does we honor Aloha’s Michael Lopez.
No Doubt Thomas Tyner will remember Michael and all herepresentedto Aloha High School, the Warriors Nation, and to the many OSU and Football fans form Oregon who remember him.
There is going to be a gathering at 10 AM this coming Saturday to salute Michael Lopez Junior and send him off as we Celebrate Thomas Tyner and all the boys playing in the game. Our Staff along with Thomas Tyner’s Father John will be in attendance and all Friends and Family of Michael and Thomas, Aloha Fans, Duck and Beaver fans are encouraged to come and be with us.
We will take a donation at the event for Mike’s family and or organization.
COME Watch The US Army All American Game and Cheer On Thomas and share Memories of the Great Michael Lopez.
10 Am to 2 PM
Front Row Bar and Grill
22277 NW Imbrie Dr
Call 503-799-8383 and let Dirk know if you can Make it out so we can try for a Head Count.
God Bless the Lopez Family.
Here is his the POST About Michael Lopez From Team Cure’s Website:
Michael Lopezattended Aloha High School in Aloha, Oregon where he was a three-sport athlete earning nine letters in his three years of high school. Michael was a three yearLettermanand a two way starter for three years in football where he was namedAll-State at three different positions throughout his high school career.
As a defensive back he was named the Oregonian’s Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 1981. He led the state in interceptions two consecutive years 1980-81’. He finished his high school career with 23 total interceptions.
In 1981, he was named to the Gatorade, Adidas, and Carnation All American football teams.
In baseball, he was a three year starter and a two year all-league choice as a shortstop. b He also started for two years on the basketball team. In 1981, he was the scholar athlete of the Metro League and finalist for the National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete award.
Michael earned a full ride scholarship toOregon State Universityto play football.
He was a four year letterman (1982-85) earning All Pac-10 Conference honors in 1985. His senior season he tied for 2nd in the Pac-10 Conference and for 3rd in the nation for interceptions with six.
He played in 43 of 44 games, missing only the opening game his freshmen season. In Michael’s high school and college football seasons (7), he played in 74 of 75 games. Michael earned his B.A. in Communications in 1987.
Michael signed a free agent contract with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1986. Michael got into coaching at Lewis & Clark College in 1987 after he was released by the Cardinals. In 1988 and 1989 he was a graduate assistant coach at Oregon State University where he earned his Masters Degree in Exercise Sport Science in 1989. In 1990 he was an assistant coach at West Texas State where he coached the secondary.
In 1991 and 1992 he was an assistant coach at Boise State University where he coached the wide receivers and tight ends. In 1994 and 1995 he was the offensive coordinator and coached quarterback’s and wide receivers at Defiance College in Ohio.
In 1996 and 1997 he was the defensive coordinator at Arizona Western University.
In 1996 he was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease after experiencing weakness in his left limbs and slurred speech. He was diagnosed by Dr. Robert Miller at the Forbes Norris ALS Center in San Francisco.
He was forced to retire from coaching in 1997 because of the disease.
In 1998, Michael founded theTeam Cure ALS Foundation. Michael was inducted into the Aloha High School Hall of Fame in 2001.
Michael is a single father of two beautiful girls Megan, 20 and Molly, 15. Michael is in his 16th year of battling Lou Gehrig’s disease in which he has been on a ventilator for 12 years. Michael is able to use a special program to operate his laptop computer.
He has movement in his left ring finger, and a sensor switch is taped to the finger where he is able to operate a on screen keyboard. He can type emails and surf the net.
About the AuthorDirk Knudsen
Dirk is a lifelong resident of the Pacific NW; athlete and Merit scholar. He runs camps, clinics, and has been a sports writer and analyst for nearly a decade now; mostly with Rivals.com as the editor of OregonPreps and WashingtonPreps.com. Dirk is the founder of NWPR & BrainChampions.org; a charity for injured athletes suffering from Brain Trauma / Concussion. He is a father of three and married.
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