Here's to You, Pete

 Peter Wilkerson

Peter Wilkerson

This weekend I cried. I cried real good.

Saturday, Feb. 20, was Covenant basketball’s senior night. Senior nights are often filled with tears, as they are designed to celebrate the hard work and dedication that the athletes have put into their program over their careers with an air of reminiscence. Covenant did just that.

With a healthy crowd in Barnes Physical Education Center, the night ended with the Scots defeating Maryville (those other Scots) 74-69, marking a perfect send off for the Covenant seniors at their last home game.

If the heavy nostalgia and the realization of the end of the line for senior basketball players Robby Bell, Chris Boyd, TJ Cox, Matt den Dulk, Micah Turner, and Daniel Garrett wasn’t enough to create an emotionally charged atmosphere on Saturday night, the Scots had a special visitor in attendance that made the victory taste that much sweeter.

Before the game started, Pete rolled in. Those that know Coach Peter Wilkerson know that he rolls when he moves. He walks into a room and rolls through conversations, moving about with excitement and a vigor for life that are evident in a trademark grin. On Saturday, his rolling was something altogether different.

Peter has been battling Guillain-Barré syndrome, which is a rare disease where the human body’s immune system attacks its own nervous system. Peter was rolled into the gym by his wife, Samantha, in a wheelchair. He is fighting for feeling in his body, he has a hard time speaking, and even the trademark grin is absent these days.

He ultimately should battle back and feel little to no effects of the disease later in life, and we hope to see him courtside again next year. But to simply be present at one of the most pivotal moments in the season, to be there when a chapter closed for those men, even in the midst of suffering. That was magical. Thanks Pete.