Lance's Journal: Johnson-Brock's Guardian Angel, Mar. 6

Four months after tragedy struck a small Nebraska high school, the grieving continues. Just a few days before the school's first official basketball practice, Terron Jones collapsed on the court.

The 17 year old senior lost his life that day. Now, a community rallies together in his absence.

After an up and down season, Johnson-Brock is headed back to the state basketball tournament for a third straight year.

The Eagles will fly in to Lincoln Thursday night with a below .500 record of 12 and 14. But don't count them out just yet, because they've been blessed with something much more important than a win/loss record.

This team is motivated by what they call...a guardian angel.

Head Coach Nick Krenk says, "The crazy thing is you talk about people dying doing the thing they love and he was doing the thing that he loved. He spent a lot of time in the gym, he absolutely loved, it was his deal his sport."

Dontavious Sturgeon-Reiger has struggled at times without his brother by his side, "Playing basketball, it's not the same, it hasn't been the same all season I mean...the only one I used to play the game with was my brother."

Dontavious felt the love of the Johnson-Brock community last week shortly after the eagles won the district title, "I was happy when we won the championship and I turned around and I saw this (a sign that had a picture of his brother Terron on it) and it made me cry, but it wasn't a sad cry, it was a cry like it made me feel good, but at the same time, I just wish he could be there with me."

Even though Terron is no longer at Johnson-Brock High School his presence is felt on a daily basis. Dontavious says, "We wish he was here physically, but we know in our hearts that he's here with us and he's playing with us."

Coach Krenk adds, "I know Terron's here with us and I know for a fact that the boys know that and the boys are always aware of that and it's not always a spoken thing for our team but they know, they know, it pushes them."

Johnson-Brock has their work cut out for them Thursday night in the Capital City.

The 12 and 14 Eagles will take on undefeated Howells-Dodge at 7pm at North Star High School.