BRIMFIELD, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Kevin Kreiter’s first year as head coach at Brimfield has been a challenge.

Not with wins or losses on the court. But losses off it.

“I’m so proud of these guys, with how they’ve responded,” Kreiter said. “We’ve moved on that we’re playing for Jake and Aaron.”

Jacob Look passed away in December, three months into his senior year. Aaron Miller passed away in August of 2020, just before his junior year was to begin.

Two Brimfield students, both players on the Indians basketball team.

“There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t mention them or think about them,” Kreiter said. “Especially on game day.”

Game days have been bittersweet for this Brimfield team. The parents of those former players still come to games.

And there are reminders of those young men all around the players, like last week at Williamsfield. ROWAVA-Williamsfield, Brimfield’s opponent on Jan. 19, had the jersey numbers of Miller and Look projected on a wall in the gym.

Jacob Look and Aaron Miller were in the same class and many of the Brimfield players players went to school with them dating to kindergarten. They say this basketball season is for those young men who would have finished their high school careers as seniors this year.

“No other team is like us,” said senior Caleb Tyre. “We’ve lost two players in the past two years. We have the drive to win games for them. That’s what pushes us to the limits.”

Brimfield is 12-4 this season.

“I think it’s motivation to keep playing really hard for them,” said senior Levi Moon. “That’s what they’d want us to do.”

Brimfield has eyes on a deep run in the class 2A postseason. The Indians host a regional next month.

“It’s brought the team closer together,” said Kreiter. “I think we’ve played more as a team.”

A team that’s missing two of its beloved players. But dedicating a season to them.