Ontario pays tribute to former Tiger

By John L. Braese

The Enterprise

ONTARIO – Even with the fanfare of homecoming and facing the La Grande Tigers, the Ontario football team and fans opened the game with a moment of silence.

They were remembering a former teammate, a former volunteer coach, a former Tiger.

Patrick Plaza died on Saturday, Sept. 16. He was 25.

Plaza graduated from Ontario High School in 2010 after playing on both the offensive and defensive line for the Tigers. He later attended Treasure Valley Community College, playing tennis for the Chukars.

Returning to his alma mater, Plaza volunteered as a line coach for the Tigers. He was also well known throughout the community as a coach for youth football teams.

Even with fans’ faces painted and homecoming contestants wearing formal dresses, all bowed their heads while the announcer told of Plaza’s life.

Then, Ontario lost to La Grande 43-38 . . .