Mishawaka athlete presented with national award, remembering his late father

NOW: Mishawaka athlete presented with national award, remembering his late father

MISHAWAKA, Ind. --- Being honored for something you do every day can leave you speechless . . . 

“I can’t even describe it, it’s amazing,” says Jacob Bush, a Mishawaka High School athlete. 

Jacob was presented with the National High School Spirit of Sport Award by the Indiana High School Athletic Association on Wednesday during Senior Night for Mishawaka Track and Field. 

It's given to an athlete that ‘exemplifies the ideals of the spirit of sport’. 

“The Spirit of Sport Award is such a special award across the country,” says IHSAA Commissioner Paul Neidig. 

Being involved in sports is what saved Jacob's life.  

On August 4th of 2020, he was involved in a serious motorcycle accident which left him with severe injuries, but taking the life of his father, a South Bend firefighter.  

Jacob fought hard for his life spending four days in a coma, and just a month and 14 days after his accident, he was able to walk back onto the football field.   

Overcoming it all made his passion for sports that much stronger.  

“It definitely made that spark a lot bigger than it used to be, without a doubt in my mind.,” Bush says. 

Now, Jacob’s about to graduate from Mishawaka High School as a two-sport athlete and with two honorable awards under his belt; the Brady Comeback Award he won last year, and now the Spirit of Sport Award.  

He says he couldn’t have done it without his family and his teammates, who he also considers family.  

“I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for my connection with them,” Bush says. 

Of course he couldn’t have done it without his father Jeremy who was with him for every game, right on his wrist in the form of his badge number, 483.   

“My dad as a person, probably the strongest person I know,” Jacob says, remembering his father. 

“A lot of kids are special, but with Jacob you just see that little extra sparkle,” says Neidig. 

After graduation, Jacob will attend Ball State University and study pre-physical therapy and kinesiology with the goal of becoming a physical therapist. He says he wants to help people that were in the same shoes as him at one point in his life and help them overcome their hardships like he did.  

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