'Always a Dolphin,' Peace returns to Mosley for senior season
The Mosley basketball team is like a family.
"Like brothers," Christen Miller confirms. "Real close. Just not blood though!"
"We're either together or we're playing basketball," Jerry Peace adds.
'The glue guy,' as coach Mike Memmen calls him, is number zero.
"Jerry Peace, he's been a part of Mosley since freshman year," Rielle Gibson says. "He's always a dolphin."
At least, always a Dolphin in spirit. Right before tryouts for the trio's junior year, Hurricane Michael split the teammates up.
"We evacuated at the last minute and went to Montgomery, Alabama," Peace recalled. "We stayed there for about a week and then we came back here, I seen the damage, we lost the house, and I went to Tampa."
"When Jerry left, it was kind of like, I couldn't believe it at first until he was gone," Gibson remembers. "I was kind of down. I wasn't myself."
The transition was tough on Jerry too. He enrolled at Land O'Lakes, averaging 6 points per game on a district champion team, but his mind was still set on playing basketball back at Mosley.
"Every day. Every day almost," Peace admits. "They'd text me before or after practice."
"After he would get finished with practice, he would call me," Gibson adds. "After I would get finished with practice, I would call him. We would just talk about how the season is going and how I couldn't wait to get back and he couldn't wait to be back."
That determination—and their bond—is how Peace wound up in green again. Unable to find housing right away (although she now lives in Springfield), Jerry's mother stayed in Tampa the following summer. He moved in with Rielle and Christen and soon returned to his other home: Redfern Gym.
"My first practice back. It didn't feel real at first," Peace says. "It's crazy. I can't explain it..."
The three celebrated senior night last week, part of a 16 game winning streak heading into the district semifinals against Wakulla. Some things matter more than the scoreboard.
"He means much more to our team as a person than he does as a basketball player," head coach Mike Memmen confirms. "These guys love him like a brother. They've grown up with him. I don't know what they honestly would do without him."
Actually, we do know what they'll without him: they'll do everything to get him back.