Matt Kechter’s younger brother Adam, then 13, accepts the trophy in his brother’s honor when the Columbine Rebels win the 1999 championship. Matt used to play lineman for the football team. When he died the team ‘adopted’ Adam into their fold.
“When I saw this quote all I could think of was my amazing community and my family. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything more simple or true when I think of how far we’ve come together. I hope this post reaches the ones who are feeling buried right now. This post is truly dedicated to you in memory of our loved ones from Columbine.” - Rachel’s Challenge
The wait was supposed to be over. Matthew Kechter was set to crack the starting lineup of the Columbine High School varsity football team in the fall. Years of practice and lifting weights had the 16-year-old prepped for a breakout junior year.
But Kechter, who was last seen in the library moments after Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold began terrorizing students on Tuesday, was still missing late Wednesday.
“Matt would do anything for anybody,” said Michael Mesch, who has been a friend of the Kechter family for four years.
Friends described Kechter as a straight-A student who will go out of his way to help fellow classmates.
“He had a real innocent look to him,” said Dustin Hoffschneider, 17, a friend and teammate of Kechter’s. “You could talk to him and make friends with him real fast. I don’t understand why you would want to do something to someone like him.”
Kechter used his smarts on the football field, where he was able to play a number of offensive and defensive line positions, Hoffschneider said.
Kevin Parman, an assistant coach on Columbine’s ninth-grade football team, described Kechter as a “real dedicated” student-athlete.
“He was a character,” Parman said. “He liked to laugh, he played hard and he enjoyed himself.”
Kechter was in the upstairs library with a close friend when he was last seen. After the friend crawled into a video room, he called out to Kechter to start moving, according to a friend’s father, who asked to remain nameless.