Fueled by Inspiration: Clear Lake coach's stepson reminds team to live each moment to its fullest

During a season full of challenges, Beckett Petersen provided tons of inspiration to the Lions.

Posted: Mar 4, 2021 11:25 PM

KIMT NEWS 3 SPORTS – Years from now, the Clear Lake Lions won’t necessarily recall the wins and losses from this season, but they will remember all of the memories they made along the way. The 2020-21 season provided a journey the Lions could never have imagined.

“It’s been a long season, it’s been a grueling season,” said Head Coach, Bart Smith. “We’re really not taking anything for granted and playing with an attitude like this could be it because there for a while, it looked like we were going to be done.”

Coaches like Smith train their players to adapt and rise above any challenges that might be thrown their way. For senior Chelsey Holck, the challenges seemed never-ending.

“Adversity has kind of been our thing this year,” she said. “We got over COVID, we got over four seniors being hurt at the beginning of the season so anything you throw at us, I think we can overcome it.”

Time and time again, Coach Smith’s 12-year-old stepson, Beckett, has been the team’s source for inspiration. At a young age, he began showing a variety of developmental delays and is confined to a wheelchair.

His health took a turn for the worse in September and he is now in hospice care. Doctors have struggled to determine an official diagnosis.

“If you think you have it rough, you just look at him and you kind of reevaluate – kind of don’t sweat the small things and kind of relish in the day,” Smith said.

Throughout the season, Beckett’s illness required Coach Smith to step away from the sideline and make trips to Saint Marys in Rochester. Even during his absences, the team found ways to persevere and win basketball games.

“Our team and our coaching staff have done a great job of leading the girls when I’m gone,” he said. “The seniors have done a great job of stepping in and being leaders.”

The team wouldn’t have it any other way than to see the infectious smile of their ‘little brother’ back at practices, healthy.

“A lot of us girls have grown really close to him and he just means a lot to us,” Holck said.

“All that stuff that went on throughout the yeat has just really made this group closer and one big family,” Smith added.

Coach Smith also wanted to extend a special thank you to the Mayo Clinic doctors and nurses, saying they have become like family and helped make this process easier.

The Lions closed out their season in Thursday’s Class 3A state semifinal. Kaitlyn VanderPloeg led the Lions with 12 points, Jaden Ainley added 10, Darby Dodd scored 9 points and Emily Theiss had 8. Clear Lake finished the season with a 19-2 record.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 557665

Reported Deaths: 7104
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1161051683
Ramsey48076856
Dakota42704422
Anoka38757416
Washington25072274
Stearns21100219
St. Louis16883298
Scott16071117
Wright14862127
Olmsted1278097
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Carver986845
Clay784790
Rice7657102
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Crow Wing619886
Chisago551650
Otter Tail545273
Benton533897
Mower451332
Goodhue445572
Douglas444071
Winona439149
Nobles400848
Morrison396359
McLeod396055
Isanti380159
Itasca375553
Beltrami373557
Polk366567
Steele364114
Becker356548
Lyon349048
Carlton330752
Freeborn328529
Pine312721
Nicollet308342
Brown294839
Mille Lacs283850
Le Sueur271322
Todd269230
Cass250826
Meeker238137
Waseca231421
Martin213529
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Houston162514
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Pope10316
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Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 358375

Reported Deaths: 5826
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Polk56091605
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Black Hawk15566306
Woodbury14917221
Johnson1408481
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Dallas1090996
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Story1032447
Warren556986
Clinton538390
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Webster508391
Sioux506973
Marshall477274
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Buena Vista421940
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Plymouth398179
Lee368555
Marion354875
Jones293355
Henry286437
Bremer279460
Carroll279352
Crawford262440
Boone258933
Benton250355
Washington249250
Dickinson242543
Mahaska225250
Jackson218242
Kossuth213163
Clay211325
Tama206771
Delaware203339
Winneshiek194733
Page190421
Buchanan188931
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Hardin180142
Hamilton178249
Harrison176673
Clayton167155
Butler162534
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Cherokee157138
Floyd155442
Lyon154941
Madison154319
Poweshiek152833
Allamakee149151
Iowa145724
Hancock143734
Winnebago136231
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Cass134854
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Jefferson130935
Emmet128840
Shelby128637
Sac127319
Louisa127249
Appanoose126647
Mitchell125241
Union123232
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Humboldt118326
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Palo Alto111022
Howard102822
Montgomery100637
Unassigned10020
Clarke98324
Keokuk94830
Monroe94128
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Osceola75716
Lucas74923
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