MILAN, Ohio (WJW) – A moment of silence is one of many honors pouring in to remember a Northeast Ohio sailor who made the ultimate sacrifice.
The 22-year old Soviak, from Berlin Heights, played football, among many other things, when he attended Edison High School in Erie County.
His alma mater played an away game against Bellevue, where both communities honored his bravery and sacrifice.
“One of the soldiers killed in that attack was combat Naval medic Max Soviak, a 2017 graduate of Edison High School,” said the announcer before the game started.
“We lower our flag and take this moment of silence to acknowledge the ultimate sacrifice he made to protect our freedoms,” continued the announcer before a moment of silence.
“Max was a kid that really wore his heart on his sleeve. You know, he was a passionate kid, as a football player, he was always full tilt, 100 miles an hour, fearless,” said Edison head football coach Jim Hall, who remembers Soviak as a leader.
In addition to football, Soviak participated in wrestling, track, tennis and was in the band. School officials say he studied electrical technology through the E-HOVE career center his junior and senior years.
His decision to serve his country did not come as a surprise.
“That was a fit for him. I think he loved it. He loved a challenge, physical challenge, you know, mental challenge,” said Hall.
“He just loved life. He was out there and enjoyed things and he was helpful to others. As I think we all can see from what happened yesterday, he was always there to help other people. He wanted to be of service and that’s what he did,” said Edison Local Schools superintendent Thomas Roth.
Max’s family did not attend the game tonight, as they continue to grieve. His family released the following statement to FOX 8:
On behalf of the entire Soviak family, we want to thank all those who have extended their support and prayers on the loss of our son, Max. Max was a wonderful son who loved his family, his community, and was proud to serve in the U.S. Navy. He was excited about the opportunities the Navy would offer him and planned to make the Navy a career. We are incredibly proud of his service to our country. As we mourn the loss of our son, we also mourn for the loss of the Marines and Soldier who were killed and pray for the speedy recovery of all of those wounded in Afghanistan. Words cannot express how heartbroken we are with this news and we will miss Max tremendously. As you can imagine, this is a very difficult time for our family and we respectfully request that you honor our privacy. Thank you, The Soviak Family
“In these small communities like this, people want to reach out and we wanted to let Edison know that they were in our thoughts and in our prayers… We’re all mourning with them,” said Kim Schubert, superintendent of the Bellevue School District.
“When I got the call from Mrs. Schubert this morning, it was a bright spot in a very difficult morning for us,” said Roth.
“It doesn’t seem right. It doesn’t seem fair, but I just hope the best for his family,” said Coach Hall.