Homestead manager experiences his one shining moment
MEQUON, Wis. - It's a story that writers in Hollywood would love to have created.
Instead, it was the junior varsity basketball team at Homestead that enjoyed one shining moment.
"He’s pretty much the heart and soul of this team," said sophomore Liam Riese.
Practices for the Homestead junior varsity basketball team represent the personality of junior Jeremiah Mitchell.
"Just the energy he brings every day, his positivity, his jokes, his laughter, it all really brightens our mood," Riese said.
Initially Jeremiah tried out to be a player on the team, but head coach Eric Mack didn’t feel his skills were at the required level.
"But, at the same time, I saw he was connected to a lot of different guys in the program, varsity, junior varsity, and just had a really good attitude," said Mack.
So, he offered Jeremiah a chance to be part of the team, as the manager.
"I could just sense, in essence, his attitude," Mack said. "I thought he’d be good for us to have around."
The joy he brings is something that affected Riese and the rest of the players.
"He’s always saying something positive about me and my teammates, giving us encouragement and that helps us take our game to the next level," said Riese.
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"We all hype for each other," said Mitchell. "We like to see each other win."
Win they did, finishing with an undefeated season. Of the 22 wins, the one on parents night will go down in the program’s history.
"That, for sure, will be something I’ll remember forever," said Mack.
A couple of days before the game, coach Mack let Jeremiah know he’d get a chance to play in that game.
"That was just like a perfect fit of a game," Mack said.
"We were like we got to draw up a play for Jeremiah, get him the ball and get him a shot," Riese said.
"I was a little nervous because obviously first high school game at home," Mitchell said. "I ain’t really done that before."
It was understandable as news spread quickly around the school.
"We never get crowds for a JV game," said Mack. "They were here like the entire game screaming at me to put him in the game, like this is the student body, not just like teammates."
"Yeah, I saw that," said Mitchell. "It was fun. It got me, my blood pumping. Got me hyped for the rest of the game."
Finally, his moment arrived.
"It felt like an explosion of joy right there," Mitchell said.
The first shot of Jeremiah's high school career, a 3-pointer no less, had gone in.
"It was a tough shot because like, two people's hands in my face," Mitchell said. "Man, I was thinking about that shot the whole night."
"Tommy, he passed it to Andrew," said Riese. "Andrew, he drove, he cut across the court passed it to Jeremiah. He hits this little step back and then banks it in. It was so great. Me and my teammates went crazy. The crowd went crazy."
"Then after that, like I said, kids were like can I get my turn to go play with him," Mack said. "So, that’s what he means to us. To everybody."
"That’s an unforgettable moment for all of us, I think," Riese said. "It’s easily the greatest moment of our team."
A perfect season defined by a perfect moment that will live forever.
"I probably saw the video probably like 30 times that day," said Mitchell.
"That’s just like what high school athletics should be," said Mack.