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An Ode to Curtis

It is hard to fathom that I made it to another decade. This is my sixth sports fans. I don’t know about you, but I personally struggle with bringing in the new year. My resolutions usually get tossed by January 11th. I have every intention of eating healthy or getting buff. I also try to spend more quality time with family and fewer minutes on technology. I promise to try much harder after I finish up season 1 of the Mandolarian on Disney. It’s only the fourth time watching it. So I’m not allowed to handle the checkbook. My lovely bride might tell you different, but I truly believe it’s all because I never know what damn year it is. True story. UNFORTUNATELY, WE CANNOT ACCEPT THIS. Insufficient funds? Dang, you guys are good. NO. IT’S NOW 2020 SIR.

The high school hoops season is in full swing. The Saint John Neumann Regional Academy Golden Knights are keeping me busy. Five games over the next eight nights. Yes. We even play on Sundays. There is always something going on, but I am thoroughly enjoying my time on the sidelines. We have a great group of boys.

Old age? Grey hairs? Tight pants? Who knows. But I have been very nostalgic this winter. Every time we are on the road- I often think back to a previous adventure — many familiar places. The team and I were on the bus en route to a game in the Northern Tier, and I had one of those surreal flashbacks. A deja vu experience that I’ve been in this situation before. Everything was confirmed when I stepped foot in the gym. Yes. Now I totally remembered.

Turn back the clock 12 years, and I was the hoops coach at Montoursville High. The Warriors were off to a great start, and this was the most talented squad I’ve ever had. Vince Molesky was our scorer. Travis Heap steered the ship. David Krezmer was the X factor. Matt Ayers kept things entertaining. Big J Marshalek grabbed rebounds. Dale Upright was homeschooled. Eric Flood fouled kids. Cody Haupt was our athlete, and Curtis Jacobson was our leader. We were very solid and had a tremendous year. We beat Sock, SJNRA, and even upset the Port that season. City champs boys and girls. We made T-shirts.

I keep in touch with several players who were on that team. One of my favorites stayed local and is now a teacher at Loyalsock High School. My man also coaches the varsity girls’ basketball team. Curtis Jacobson wasn’t our most talented player, but he was brilliant. He understood the game and played great defense. Jacobson was a natural, and he led by example. He was a total team player and did whatever was needed to increase our chances. Curtis was another coach on the floor.

Jacobson has been very successful at the helm. He has only been at it for four years, but he already has one impressive resume. Curtis was recently named as the area’s best girl’s coach for the decade. Wait. What? Jacobson has guided a Loyalsock program to a D4 AAA and an HAC 3 crown. His teams have reached the state tournament and have advanced to the second round. The Lady Lancer’s lost four starters from last year’s 24-4 team, but they are currently 7-0 and improving each game.

“It was a surprise,” Jacobson exclaimed. “It’s not about the individual accolades, but it sure was nice. There are so many deserving coaches in our area, and to be named as one of the best is quite an honor. We’ve had a great group of girls who have really brought it. They continue to work hard and are a true pleasure to coach. I owe a lot to my family. Especially my wife, who serves as my assistant coach.”

Curtis and his lovely bride Keri (Datres), are expecting their first child at any moment. It’s true. She is on the staff for the girls. Kudos to them for an interesting dynamic. Some folks take part in date nights, but the Jacobsons would rather hang in the gymnasium.

“We make a great team,” Curtis added. “We are very similar in our coaching styles and basketball philosophies. Keri was a great player in her day, and we both preferred to pass. Obviously, we are excited about the new addition, and we are both looking forward to parenthood.”

I am awfully proud of my young friend and his career choice. His recent accomplishments and individual successes are well deserved. I already knew Curtis was well on his way, but seeing him on the sidelines is an absolute joy. Coaching goes well beyond the Xs and Os. It has nothing to do with the wins and losses, either. I truly believe that a good coach develops a lasting impact and relationship with each player. Curtis Jacobson was one of my all-time favorites. I am glad to see my old starting two-guard is doing well — much love. Congrats to you and Keri on the little one. Cheers.

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