PONTIAC, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — A crazy senior year of high school started when Jaxon Cusac-McKay was afraid there’d be no high school sports in Illinois.
So late last summer, he transferred to a school in Murray, Kentucky where his father owns vacation property so he could have a fall football season.
“I made that decision, went down there and played,” said Cusac-McKay. “I’m so thankful we got a season for football and basketball back home too.”
He did make it back home. Cusac-McKay returned to Fieldcrest High School to play both of Illinois’ shortened basketball and football seasons.
They were seasons that didn’t have state playoffs but he got the chance to play one final year with his friends who helped take the Knights to the state football semifinals and state basketball quarterfinals in his high school career. His final high school game was Saturday’s class 1A/2A state basketball all-star game at Pontiac High School.
“Just being with all my friends, all my buddies, all seinors. It turned out as good as it could,” Cusac-McKay said. “I’ve been with those guys since third grade. We’ve always won! This year was the same thing. It was awesome.”
Indeed, Fieldcrest won football and basketball conference titles in 2021.
Not only was Saturday’s state basketball all-star game a great way for the recent graduate to end a memorable senior year, it’s a great way for him to close the book on his athletic career. Despite being a star player in two sports, his playing days are over.
He’s headed to trade school.
“I’m going to do an HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and plumbing apprenticeship,” Cusacc-McKay said. “I’m proud to be a part of the Fieldcrest program. Coach (Matt) Winkler, Coach (Mike) Freeman, Coach (Derek) Schneeman. All those guys, they gave me a shot from my freshman year and everything like that.”