Jeremy Scherer would have loved to have been running routes and catching touchdown passes with his friends Saturday.
Instead, his friends played in his honor after a wrong-way driver killed the 24-year-old in 2020.
The proceeds of the third annual Scherer Charity Bowl, a five-on-five flag football tournament, benefited Scherer’s widow, Priscilla Scherer, and their 3-year-old son, Jayden.
Eric Hass, Scherer’s longtime friend and godfather to his son, organized the tournament the past three years. Hass’s team won the tournament championship Saturday.
Todd Scherer, Jeremy Scherer’s father, said players coming out in the chilly November weather and raising money for his son’s family “means the world” to him.
“Eric doing this keeps his memory alive,” Todd Scherer said.
He said his son grew up in the Coeur d’Alene area and lived in Southern California prior to his death. He worked as a claims adjuster for Progressive insurance.
Hass said he met Scherer while riding on the school bus, and they became friends. The pair played baseball at Post Falls High School and flag football for several years after they graduated.
“Everybody who met him loved the guy,” Hass said. “He was just the nicest person you could have met, really.”
Authorities said Christine Cann, of Coeur d’Alene, was driving west in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 90 on Sept. 11, 2020, when she struck the vehicle Scherer was driving head-on at about 100 mph, the Coeur d’Alene Press reported. The crash caused Scherer to spin sideways, and another vehicle hit Scherer’s car on the driver’s side.
Cann told police she “had a rum” that morning. Scherer was taken to Kootenai Health where he died, according to the Press.
Cann was sentenced last year to up to a decade in prison for felony vehicular manslaughter. She will be eligible for parole in about four years.
On Saturday, 13 teams made up of well over 100 players tackled the double-elimination tournament on a thin layer of snow and ice at Real Life Ministries’ The Fields in Post Falls. Hass said each team paid $250 to play.
Hass, who plays quarterback, wore No. 15 with the words, “Be Legendary,” on the back of his jersey.
Scherer’s favorite player was wide receiver Michael Crabtree, who wore No. 15 while playing with the San Francisco 49ers, Scherer’s favorite NFL team. “Be Legendary” was Scherer’s motto and is written on his Facebook page.
Charity bowl T-shirts given to Saturday’s champions and volunteers were black and red, two of the 49ers’ team colors.
Scherer played receiver, and while he was not the biggest or fastest guy, his route-running, craftiness and work ethic made him great, said Dylan Latting, Scherer’s friend and quarterback.
“He was the best receiver that I ever played with to be honest with you,” said Latting, who flew in from Colorado to play Saturday.
Latting, who became friends with Scherer through Hass, said he and Scherer were in sync on the field. They even developed their own hand signals to communicate which route Scherer would run before a play.
“We just had that connection,” Latting said.
Latting said Scherer was “extremely selfless,” humble and well-liked by everyone. He said he brought Red Bull energy drinks for his teammates before games and did not gloat when he scored a touchdown.
“I just think people should be more like him,” Latting said.
Curtis Triplett, another friend and teammate of Scherer’s, said he admired Scherer and tries to be like him. He said Scherer would give someone the shirt off his back and was bound for great things.
Triplett said he and Hass play for the Spokane Outlaws, a USA Flag football team that travels the country. Triplett said he is trying to win a national title for Scherer.
“We play in a lot of those big tournaments, and this means as much if not more every time we’re out here,” Triplett said of Saturday’s tournament.
Jayme Barton, who was also part of the high school friend and football group, said he never heard Scherer say a rude word to anyone and that he loved being around people.
“He had time for everyone, too,” Barton said. “That was the cool thing about him. He made sure to make time to be there.”
Todd Scherer added he never heard his son say something bad about someone else in his 24 years of life.
“That young man, from day one, has always been the kindest human being you’ll ever meet,” he said.
Barton said Scherer was a great father.
“Just watching him play with his kid was great,” he said.
Todd Scherer also noticed his son’s parenting skills.
“He was going to be father of the year every year,” he said.