Beloved area high school coach dies; school mourns

LIBERTY TWP. — The coach of Lakota East High School’s girls’ lacrosse team died earlier this week, leaving his team and the school community in mourning.

Matthew Dishun, a Middletown native and a 1995 graduate of Franklin High School, died Tuesday, according to Lakota district officials. A cause was not made known.

Dishun, who was 47, was going into his fourth season as coach of the girls’ lacrosse squad, which includes his daughter.

Lakota officials said grief counselors were immediately made available to Lakota East students and staffers when Dishun’s death become known early Tuesday morning.

“As you may have heard, it is with deep sadness that we are writing to share that Lakota East Girls Lacrosse Head Coach Matt Dishun passed away very unexpectedly this morning. Matt will be deeply missed by the East family, and our thoughts are with his family and loved ones as they grieve this heartbreaking loss,” according to a notice sent to students, staffers and school families.

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“We shared this news with the entire team at both the East Main and Freshman campuses to give students immediate access to counselors for grief support, as needed. This news is sure to raise many emotions, concerns and questions for this group. Please know that in addition to our own counseling team, Lakota Schools has a Crisis Intervention Team made up of counselors and other trained professionals to help with the needs of students, parents and school personnel at difficult times such as these.”

According to the funeral home obituary for Dishun’s death: “Family was the most important thing to Matt (and) anybody and everybody was invited to try his newest creation off of his smoker.”

“He took pride in building custom houses with Sunrise Homes. He loved to hunt and loved sports, especially Notre Dame Football. Matt also was the head coach of the Lakota East Girls’ Varsity Lacrosse team that his youngest daughter played on.”

“Matt is survived by his loving wife of 25 years, Sherry Dishun (Ritchie); daughters, Browyn, and Braylee Dishun; sister, Michelle (Tim) Hanks; brothers, Tim (Michele), and Mark (Sherry) Dishun; father in law, George Ritchie; honorary sibling, Kenrick Hamilton; and his many nieces and nephews.”

“A celebration of life for Matt will take place at a later date,” stated the obituary.

Rob Burnside, principal of Lakota East, said: “We are heartbroken by the loss of Coach Dishun.”

“Under his leadership, the greatest strength of our girls lacrosse team has been their unity and the strong bond among the players and coaches. Knowing how tight knit this group is, our primary focus during this very difficult time has been on supporting our student-athletes. We’ve made every effort to give them time to just be together and get the grief support that many of them need in light of this sudden and tragic news.”

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