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crash victim was a former soccer player

Thursday, November 16, 2017 15:32 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

Cody Strauch was known for his shot blocking abilities as a soccer goalie at New Prairie High School and kicking the ball almost the full length of the field.

He was good enough to sign to play soccer at Trine University in Angola after graduating in 2015.

The 20-year old Rolling Prairie area man was killed Tuesday afternoon when his westbound 2000 GMC Yukon hit a tree in the yard of a home along U.S 20 at County Road 750 East.

His family is asking people to wear Notre Dame shirts to his visitation Friday and funeral Saturday at Haverstock Funeral Home in LaPorte because he was such a huge fan of the Irish.

Robbie Cook said he and Strauch while growing up went to football, basketball and hockey games at Notre Dame.

Cook described the good friend he shared the same birthday day with as genuinely caring about others with an open ear for anyone wanting to talk.

''He wasn't just a friend to me. He was a brother. I can't explain how bad this hurts,'' Cook said.

Police believe the wet pavement and speed could be factors in the fatality but they still weren't sure Wednesday why he went off the right side of the straight two-lane stretch of highway, said LaPorte County Police Capt. Mike Kellems.

Kellems said alcohol or drugs were not suspected and there was no evidence he lost control or slammed on the brakes.

Strauch was a union apprentice and laborer at Woodruff & Sons, a construction company in Michigan City where his father, Ronald, is also employed.

''He was a good kid and a hard worker,'' said Dennis Newby, one of the employees at the firm.

Strauch's sister Kailin, is a junior at New Prairie High School and member of the girls basketball team which cancelled its Tuesday night game at South Central and the one Friday night at Mishawaka, said Mark Yates, the NPHS athletic director.

Jen Sass, principal at NPHS, said students and staff were advised that counselors were available to help cope with their emotions, if necessary.

She said Strauch also played basketball as a freshman and often led the study body in the cheering section during sporting events.

''He just loved to have a good time and our close group of friends will miss him more than words could ever explain,'' said Cook.,