LUDLOW, Vt. – Black River High School, coaches, and athletes as well as community members gathered at Saturday’s high school basketball senior game to honor 18-year-old Jonathan Mason Peters, a 2019 BRHS graduate who died tragically Thursday, Feb. 20 in a tragic car accident in Petersburgh, N.Y.
The gym was packed with standing room only as the Peters family gathered center court during half-time surrounded by former and current BRHS basketball players, as Jonathan’s jersey #5 was unveiled on the gym wall in honor of the teen. Coaches presented the family with other #5 jerseys as well as a basketball. His number will now be permanently retired.
Athletic Director Joe Gurdak spoke of the school and community’s “profound loss” as he shared memories of Jonathan including his skill with all sports but especially his love of basketball, his skill with a 3-point shot, and his “spirit and heart” on and off the court. Jonathan was “a great person unfortunately taken way too young in life,” he said.
Nick Sheehan, a close family friend also spoke, praising the community for pulling together in less than 24 hours to raise over $9,000 to help the family with funeral expenses. “That proved what Jonathan meant to us all and the strength of our community as a whole,” he said.
Sheehan also spoke of Jonathan’s positive influence and zest for life off the court. “May your hearts be filled with wonderful memories and joy of times together as you celebrate a life short but well lived,” he said.