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  • Writer's pictureKate Hill

Senior Spotlight: Jacob Bush

The South Bend Tribune reported on Monday, May 1st, that Mishawaka High School senior Jacob Bush was named one of the top eight to earn a national Spirit of Sport Award. In early-August 2020 while the world was still in the throes of COVID, Bush was involved in his own, private battle, a motorcycle accident that killed his father Jeremy Bush, a South Bend firefighter, instantly. Jacob, himself, spent the next four days in a coma, sustaining multiple life-threatening injuries—including head trauma—but he ultimately made a miraculous recovery that showcased his fighting spirit as he has continued to prove his love and devotion to the game of football all throughout his remaining years at Mishawaka as #68 on the team—his dad’s number.

In a short documentary videographed by School City’s Athletic Director Dean Huppert and the Mishawaka Network (school newcast) that detailed Bush’s story, his mother, Jennifer Bush, reminded supporters and friends of the Bush family that despite her son’s comeback, “[Jacob’s] story will keep on going…Yes, he came back, but there’s more.” Jacob knows that his life and legacy has made a lasting impact on the Mishawaka community, which is why he said, “I can’t take it for granted. That’s all I know. I can’t take it for granted.”

Headed to Ball State University this fall, Bush has always had a passion for helping others, calling it his “goal in life,” and plans to nurture that passion by studying kinesiology. The accident had an impact when it came time to choose a course of study. He said, “As a kid, I thought firefighting was my calling…but after the accident, and being told that I could never walk again, or live the way I initially did, I had motivation to get what I needed done [build back strength]. After going through [rehab], I realized that my calling to help others is through physical therapy, where I can help people cross the path [to hope like] I once did.”

Like so many seniors in the class of 2023, Bush is ready to start the next chapter of his life, yet he possesses uncanny senses of both humbleness and gratitude that are aspiring and individually his own. He is thankful for the opportunities and people that got him thus far. Hoping to return some wisdom, he said, “I really just hope to have made a positive impact in the lives of those around me. My goal in life is to make the world around me a better place. Words cannot begin to describe how much I appreciate Mishawaka, especially since I wouldn't be standing where I am today if it wasn’t for my connection to those around me.”

Bush will be honored on Wednesday, May 3th, at the Boys Varsity Track Meet at 5:30pm inside Steele Stadium. His recognition during the boys’ Senior Night will include a special presentation by Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) Commissioner Paul Neidig and Sports Information Director Jason Wille.

Bush being lifted by his teammates during the 2020 football season. He described this photo as "the root of my recovery."

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