2005 to 2021
“A beaming light for Oxford”
[Editor’s Note: This unofficial obituary for Tate Myre was compiled from various news accounts. Although Tate was one of four who died in the mass shooting at Oxford High School on Tuesday, November 30th, the young football star was the sole student who rushed toward the gunman in an effort to disarm him. The shooter’s name is purposely withheld.]
According to the Detroit Free Press, Buck Myre, Tate’s dad, was searching for his son at a staging area for survivors in Michigan and asking, “Where’s Tate?”
JR Laefner, the public address announcer at Oxford football games and a Myre family friend, said: “I was walking with Buck and we couldn’t find Tate.”
Then, Buck Myre came to a sudden realization.
“Buck looked right at me,” Laefner said, “and he said: ‘You know who would go take that guy out, right?’”
“I know,” Laefner said.
He ran toward the shooter
Ross Wingert, who coached Tate in football and wrestling, was one of the first to reach the staging scene. In the midst of the chaos, Wingert heard from multiple students that when the gunfire started, Tate ran toward the shooter.
“I was told that everybody in that school was running one way, and Tate was running the other way,” Wingert said.
Hours later, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the horrible news: Tate Myre, 16, had been shot. A sheriff’s deputy put him into a squad car and tried to rush him to the hospital, but he died en route.
Tate was one of four students who died from gunshot wounds during Tuesday’s attack. The others were Madisyn Baldwin, 17, Hana St. Juliana, 14, and Justin Shilling, 17.
The youngest of three boys, Tate Myre was raised to sacrifice, work hard, and be dedicated to something bigger than himself.
“It’s the All-American family,” Laefner said. “If you’re in trouble or if you need anything, they’re there to help. They’re there for the kids. They love school. Buck is like the head of the football parents group and helps with the fundraising and is involved in everything. He helps with the team dinners. And they’re just that high school family that’s involved.”
“My life has been broken”
Ty Myre, Tate’s older brother, wrote on Instagram: “My life has been broken just like that. Never in my life will I feel this pain again. This still isn’t right it can’t be. I miss you with everything in my heart Tate. What I would do to see to one more time. Listen to your voice one more time, block for you one more time, wrestle one more time. I had such high hopes for your future, and I couldn’t wait to see you make your dream come true and for me to be right by your side along that road.”
Growing up, the two argued and fought like siblings usually do, Ty said, but over the past two years the pair developed “a close bond,” and the loss of Tate has left his brother in shock.
Even though Tate was just 16, he was a man of his word, Coach Wingert said. After committing to go on a football recruiting visit to Toledo on Saturday, Tate was invited to go on a recruiting visit to Michigan State for the Penn State game. A far more prestigious invite. “The Myres are very loyal people,” Wingert said. “Tate Myre… is probably the most amazing kid I’ve ever been around. I was very, very lucky to have been around him.”
A star football player for the Oxford Wildcats, Tate, a junior, joined the varsity as a freshman – and switched from running back to tight end for the good of the team.
“The coaching staff talked to him about it,” Wingert said. “There was not a single hesitation. That’s who Tate was.”
He was also a top wrestler who was asked to wrestle up a weight class for the good of the team, and he did it without question. “He did what he was asked to do,” Wingert said. “And he did it with a full heart, too.”
“I love you FOUR TWO”
Zach Line, also an Oxford football coach, posted a tribute to Myre on Twitter:
“Tate was and will always be a beaming light for Oxford. It’s hard to put into words what he meant to me, but he will hold a special place in my heart forever. God reaches down and touches certain people; he was one of those people. I love you FOUR TWO.”
Tate’s number was 42.
Opposing high school coaches talked about Tate in similar tones.
“I thought he was the best player in our league,” Clarkston coach Kurt Richardson said. “After we played them the first time I must have run back five of his plays. I said: ‘Look at how hard this kid plays.’ “
Per Rochester Adams coach Tony Patritto: “You could tell he was a great teammate. He was involved in every play, whether it was the blocker, the guy getting the ball, the guy catching the pass, the guy putting the ball down.”
Game after game, Tate left opposing coaches impressed.
“It’s crazy, my staff was talking about him the other day,” Clinton Township Chippewa Valley coach Scott Merchant said. “We felt like out of everybody, that kid did the best job all year.”
“Everything about us is tough”
After a victory over Clarkston this season, Tate was interviewed by The D Zone, a website committed to Michigan high school football. And when you watch the video, it’s clear that he loved his school, loved his team, loved his teammates.
“It feels great,” Tate said on the video, his hair matted down. “In the rain, this is where we live. Rain is just like Oxford football — tough, muddy.” He smiled and nodded. “Everything about us is tough.”
Not only was Tate talented on the field, but he also excelled academically and was an honor student.
They are just kids
Now, this small, tight community is trying to come to grips with the unthinkable. On Wednesday afternoon, dozens of football players and wrestlers met in a building across the street from the staging area. The boys walked in with somber faces and sullen eyes. Wearing sweats and varsity jackets, a reminder they are just kids.
“What do you say to them?” Wingert was asked. “What is your message?”
He looked at the boys. “I don’t think there is a straight, clear message that just washes everything away,” he said. “But, you know, getting our guys together today; number one, the most important thing is just being together.”
Some were wrestlers. Some were football players. All of them were Tate’s teammates, gathering together. Hugging and crying. And they all hurt like hell.
Not just a hero but a legend
In the wake of the shooting, tens of thousands of people signed an online petition to rename Wildcat Stadium as Tate Myre Stadium.
“Tate is not just a hero to his fellow students at Oxford High School but a legend, his act of bravery should be remembered forever and passed down through generations, he put his life in danger to try and help the thousands of other students at Oxford High School,” the petition says.
Others killed in the shooting are Madisyn Baldwin, 17 (in hat), Hana St. Juliana, 14 (with flowers), and Justin Shilling, 17.
According to the Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors – Oxford website, visitation for 16-year-old Tate Myre will be held on Monday, Dec. 6, from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Kensington Church on 4640 S. Lapeer Road in Lake Orion and on Tuesday, Dec. 7, from 10 a.m. to noon with the funeral service beginning at noon.