It’s a feeling that has touched athletes around the country.
“Last week was a gut wrenching, devastating week for us,” said Perham Head Coach Dave Cresap.
The Perhman boy’s basketball team was no exception to this epidemic.
“It kind of took my heart down to the bottom of my feet, because then I knew we had to go meet with our players and I knew that wasn’t going to be fun,” said Cresap.
The Yellow Jackets were riding the school’s first ever 28-and-0 record into the Section 8AA championship, when their game against Fergus Falls was cancelled due to the Coronavirus. Now Cresap and his teammates are left wondering what could have been. .
“You know that what if is going to be there forever and I couldn’t really answer that for them. I have been coaching for 35 years and I don’t know if I’ve ever had to do anything like this before,” said Cresap.
But Perham wasn’t ready to have their season end just yet. So on the day of what would have been the section title game, the Yellow Jackets took matters into their own hands. They organized a two on two basketball tournament in a teammate’s garage.
“Then the kids came up with the idea that we’re going to make a big 64 team bracket and they’re going to play it out 2 on 2 and just have a little bit of fun, and that was really inspiring for me to see. They were able to put the bracket on the board, they got together and sang the national anthem, they got together with our team cheer before the game. It was just glorifying for me to see all the smiles going on their faces after such a tough day, and they really really played that out,” said Cresap.
A Class AA state title was the ultimate goal for the Yellow Jackets this year, but being together as a team in a moment of heartache, is something that Coach Cresap hopes is just as big of a memory as raising a trophy.
“Ten years from now you’re going to remember the garage out at Thumper Pond, you’re going to remember the 28-0 season and hopefully all the other stuff just goes away,” said Cresap.
Coach Cresap earned his 600th win as a coach this season, he stated that he would give up that milestone if it meant his players could have played in the section championship.
“You go in there and you tell everybody we’re 28-0, if you would have said that at the beginning of the year nobody would have believed us. But this is a legacy that you can live because this is the first time in school history that a team has gone 28-0, so they can mark that on the wall.”
Cresap said the school is in talks of recognizing the team with some form of banner to honor this season’s efforts.