Basketball Team Honors Teammate’s Loss of Father

Basketball, Rotator, Sports — By on December 15, 2017 12:34 pm

Story by Paige Zaruba

Ever since Cam Butterbaugh was a kid, he learned from his dad, Jeff, about how to be successful and have fun. Growing up, Jeff helped coach him and his friends throughout all of their activities, including basketball. “From when my friends and I were able to play up until about sixth grade, he taught me about basketball, football, baseball, and cooking,” said Cam, a junior.

Although Jeff helped Cam and his brother, Rylan, see the humorous, less serious parts of life, he also showed them how to keep fighting and be brave.

Jeff recently lost the hard-fought battle to ALS, a nervous system disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

The team chose to support Jeff and the Butterbaugh family by sewing a patch, initialed JB, on to their jerseys. “The patches are just a symbol of the legacy he had not just with Cam’s life, but the support he had on the team,” said senior guard Nick Leopold.

After Jeff got sick, he still chose to be active in Cam’s basketball. He had a special spot, in the front row of the middle section on the home side, that he would sit at during the games, and everyone around him quickly began to recognize that.

“Ever since last year, I would always just see him in his specific spot where he would sit during our games,” said Leopold, “and this patch reminds us that he is still with us.” When he couldn’t come to the games, he was able to live stream it, so that he could always watch.

Coach Ed Timm and a group of seniors made the choice at the beginning of the season to do something special for Cam by putting a patch on each jersey. “I think it’s really cool how Coach Timm had that idea. They look really good and it really means a lot to us,” said Cam.

The Mustangs are 3-1, and three of the four games were decided by a buzzer-beater shot. During the first game of the season against Clear Creek Amana, Cam was the player to make this shot to win the game, 43-42.

“I told the guys that there is twice that I’ve felt that way on the basketball court: when the clock ran out and we won the state championship in 2012, and when he made that shot. That’s how special it was,” said Coach Timm.

“I believe this is all God’s plan: the fact that something bad can happen and God can always make something good,” said Coach Timm.

Watch video of Cam Butterbaugh’s last-second shot against Clear Creek Amana Dec. 1:

Junior Cam Butterbaugh plays defense during the game against Western Dubuque. Photo by Paige Zaruba.

The JB (Jeff Butterbaugh) patches on the jerseys show honor towards Cam and his family.

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